I feel a need to apologize because I have let many people down. Now before you feel like this is a generic plea for attention, let me assure you that I am not writing this post to gain pity. As you will see by the end of this blog, I am optimistic about my life and future. I am writing this to better understand what I have experienced. Writing is cathartic, and I am ready to explore my thoughts, feelings and actions in hopes of letting go and moving on. For many months I have been withdrawn from family, friends and other activities. Despite the many excuses that I have used to justify my solitude, it has been intentional.
The person that I owe the biggest apology to is my wife. She has been more than generous these past four years in giving me the opportunities to be where I am at today. She has inspired me to move beyond the average aspirations of Archie and reach for the highest goals. For too long she has carried the burden of being financially responsible for our small family. While I have had employment and student loans to supplement our income, I have not put in my share, and she has needed to make up the difference. Many times I would sit back and just figure that things would work out on their own, and it would be my wife who figured out how to make the ends meet, how to move us across the country and how to provide us with food clothing and shelter.
Now a mere sentence isn't going to make her life any easier. It is going to take a lot of work and energy to balance both school and work, but it is something that I need to do, not just for my wife but also my son. I would like to think that I am a great father, and in many ways I am. I love spending time with him—reading, wrestling, watching fire trucks or just cuddling. However, he needs more than a friend; he needs a dad that is there both physically and fiscally. He may see me less often, but he needs to be provided for by both parents and not just one.
Columbia has humbled me. I miss the days of being the smart one in the class and not having to study for anything. It seems now that I spend an obscene amount of time studying to be the person who is completely lost in the class. I need to make my time count here. I need to appreciate where I am at. While grades are important, I came here for an education. I will sound elitist for saying this, but I would rather be a B student from Columbia than an A student from somewhere else.
The greatest gift of being at this school is my peer group. I have never met so many amazing, talented, friendly and social people at one time as I have in the last few months. I need to spend more time with them. I can no longer hide from their invitations for dinner, parties and even study sessions. These people are the reason why this school is amazing. The professors may be smart, but the students and my class-mates rock!
I have been reclusive at church also. There was a time when I spent several hours a week working on projects and other church activities, but now I slip out the door when no one is looking. There is a wealth of friendship that is just waiting to be found within those doors, and I haven't opened them yet.
Lastly, to my family and friends, I am sorry for not answering my phone. I have felt like keeping my head under the ground until I had some good news to share, and in doing this, I have lost touch with so many people. Thank you for your repeated calls of care and concern. It is great to know that even with all of your responsibilities and burdens, many of you take the time to call me just to say hello and make sure that I am alright. I still may not answer the phone all the time, but I promise that I will work on it.
Now that I have gotten through these confessions, I am dropping two classes this Spring term and getting busy looking for a real job that will allow for professional development, personal satisfaction and a chance to finish my education. If you know of something, let me know. I am excited for a change and a chance to grow into a better, friend, brother, uncle, husband and father. As a great friend told me recently, I never take the easy way, and I am looking forward to this next challenge.