In the few days that have passed since I spit out the post titled "Wow", with a ton of help from those that sent letters and comments showing their support, I have come to realize a few things. I have discovered that what I was apparently seeking was right in front of me the whole time. I found that my life is, in fact, full of wonderful things and that sometimes, when I am so terribly consumed with myself, I fail to see the forest for the trees. For example:
This morning I loaded my son and daughter into the trailer and we all rode to school. I made sure my daughter got her glasses out of her backpack and kissed her goodbye. I told her I loved her and that we would see her after school. She walked toward her group of classmates and my son and I headed to grandmas so that he could reclaim his bike from her porch and ride it home.
With both of us operating under our own power we started up the short climb toward home, he on the sidewalk (he's 3) and me in the street. This isn't the first time we've made this trip, but for some reason it was the first time I saw my role in all of it. He rides on the sidewalk, stops at the intersections and waits for me to ride into the middle and check to make sure it's safe. When I wave him through, he crosses and it goes that way until we get home. the important thing that I noticed wasn't my ability to wave a child through an intersection, but rather, it was being there in the first place.
Before I left my old job I was working Wednesday through Friday with hours that would have prohibited me from picking up my daughter from school. All of this on three days of the school week. With my new hours at the new bar I am working Sunday and Monday. These days, with slightly different hours, allow me to take my daughter to school, ride bikes with my son and do the same in the afternoon (only in reverse). I get to be a dad. A dad that rides bikes.
Everything I thought I was working for as that "young, talented artist" is right here. I have a successful race. I have beautiful kids. Basically, I have the world at my feet. Sure the current money situation isn't great, but the freedom in knowing that our dependence on the credit card cyclone is gone and our hopes toward a cash only lifestyle are two things that provide light in what has seemed to be an unending tunnel. I will find more work that I believe in and I will give it my all. I will be a better husband and I will be the dad I always hoped to be. I will continue to ride my bike and make every effort to make riding bikes an easier thing to do for all people. This is art, in fact, this is life and if you sit back and think about it...they're one and the same.