Head down, watching where you place your feet, you go about the business of your life. The life you created through choice and purpose. Then one day you look up and realize you’ve shuffled along that path so long it’s a habit and you’ve carved a trench so deep that the sky is just a bright slash in the darkness. I find myself staring up through that crack pretty often these days, wondering if I’ve allowed my Purpose and Passion to escape. Welcome to the Great Rut.
I realize what a bummer that reads like, and I’m sort of sorry about that. But when I dream about my life in the years to come, it doesn’t matter who I’m with or where I am if I’ve no sense of purpose or passion. It seems hollow. I will have lost the best part of myself if I don’t have purpose. And I most definitely want She and The Boys to proudly watch me joyfully rage and bull-in-a-china shop my way to the finish line.
My doctor once said, in an affectionately shitty way, that the only secret to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume. So eating smaller portions, cutting back on the beer and riding my bike is a pretty decent start. Losing my brain-flab is much more difficult. These days I’m like one of those stupid baby goats in an internet video, all movement and no direction.
I’ve always told The Boys to live life with passion, and if they aren’t passionate about anything, then they should at least be passionate about themselves. Be more tomorrow than you are today. I used to be good at that. Now I’m trying to relearn it. Was I better today than I was yesterday? Nope. I’m EXACTLY the same. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know. BORING.
I’ve always told the boys to be the kind of person their future selves will be proud of. I used to be pretty good at that, with some glaring exceptions. I need to get back to that, and close the Complacency Chapters. So Future Troy doesn’t have to endure The Adventures of Troy Milquetoast: The Expanding Sofa Ass-Print, and instead gets to read Troy Fantastic Part 2: Electric Boogaloo.
I’ve always told the boys never fear making The Big Decision. Do something big and scary. Do something bold and brave. Home will always be here. We’ve left the Manchester United jersey and snowboarder silhouette on your bedroom walls for you. Now don’t be afraid to do something big. You don’t have to play it safe. I’ve gotten safe. Maybe timid. Future Troy thinks safe is a drag, at least I think he does. I hope he does. And I really hope Future Troy isn’t an asshole.
Am I doing that dad thing I hate? Do as I say, not as I do? I can’t be that guy. I was never intended to be that guy. I’m twitchy and dissatisfied. Childlike and childish. Curious and alarmingly animated. And I certainly do NOT want Her to have conversations with her friends that start like this, “When we were kids he was so driven and full of energy, but now…”
So it’s time to start a new chapter, and when better to do it than right now? What I really want to do is pop some corn, fire up the Xbox, and kill some friggin’ zombies. But that is not a step forward. The Xbox will be there later and I should get something done. The climb out of The Great Rut won’t happen from an easy chair.
So the plan? I fear it’s as simple as Dr. Jerky McObvious described. We burn more than we eat. We stand up, point ourselves in the intended direction, and go to work.