I didn’t know a thing about John before last Christmas when I sent him a mug as part of Liz’s (A Belle, A Bean & A Chicago Dog) Mug Swap 2011. Ever since, I’ve been a big fan.
I’m happy to have John of The Adventures of Daddy Runs A Lot has my Letters For You guest this week.
John is father to two little ones and as his blog title suggests he loves to run, is a wannabe musician and a bonafide writer. Plus, he has to have one of the best smiles on the Internet (see photo below for proof). Please welcome John…
Well, I don’t know how to tell you this — but you bought the farm. You’re in the great unknown. I don’t know how old you were. I don’t know if you knew this truth until just now (but, let’s face it, you’ve always excelled at spoiling the spoilers, it seems only fitting that you’d do it to yourself).
Anyway, why am I writing you? Because, in your freshman year of high school, a guidance counselor made you write a note to yourself, to be delivered upon your high school graduation. And as you try to remember back to that letter to recollect what you wrote, the only pertinent fact that you recall, from a 34 year & 255 days old brain, is that you had a crush on Eileen McTague1. That fact jogs your brain just enough to remember that you called Eileen, to ask her out, soon after writing this letter to your future self, and that she turned you down. But then, your senior year of high school, she sat next to you in calculus, and there was a test that you got an A on while nobody else in the class managed the same feat. Mr. Glahn did his regular thing where he pointed out “to those of you who thought it was impossible, look what John did.” Of course, Eileen wasn’t in class that day. But the next day, with Eileen back in class, she tapped you on the shoulder and gave you a great big smile and said “I heard you kicked that test’s butt yesterday. Good job.” Rather than take pride in a former crush complimenting you, though, you’d obsess about a new, large zit on the crease of your nose.
And then, at 34 years & 255 days, you’d recall that memory clearly and then wonder why you’re still having acne problems because, frankly, you were supposed to outgrow that shit.
So, I hope, as you’re reading this letter, that acne is among the least of your concerns2. Anyway, the guidance counselor had promised that she’d deliver the letter when you graduated . . . but she never did. And you were truly & honestly disappointed to not be able to look back at the snapshot of your life from that moment of your freshman year, because there had to be more substance than “who you had a crush on.” So, now that you’ve graduated onto the great beyond, here is the snapshot of your life at 34 years & 255 days old:
- You’re a father and a husband and a brother and a son, and you don’t take either of those terms lightly. At this moment, you have some difficulty in describing what you do for a living, but you have little difficulty describing who you are. And you’re proud of that.
- About that “what you do for a living,” well, you’re not enjoying your job all that much. But you equate “husband and a father” with being a provider, and that means that you’re putting up with things. You feel that your priorities are in order.
- Music is taking over more & more of your life. And, at this moment, this is a good thing. You have songs that are trying to speak their way through you. You have a musical that you want to complete. You’re setting yourself up so that you’d be able to sing/play for hours on end, from memory. Right now, you’re not sure how this would actually benefit you, but you’re having a blast learning new songs. I think the impetus is that you’ve been trying to talk your dad into retiring and going to work as the pianist on a cruise ship, but that you, yourself, would actually really like to do that4
- You really, really want to spend more time writing. The simple truth is that you know yourself to be a good writer, with good ideas for what to write. You believe people want to read your words. But you’re finding other things to fill your time — and maybe it’s that you’re making excuses to not write. I don’t know. You know you wish you could write more – that you’re not always writing haunts you no small bit.
- You’re convinced that your neighbors all hate you because of the state of your lawn.
- You’re a tad bit concerned with the pleasure you get from watching zombie movies.
- Much like with writing, you always feel that you should be active. When you’re not running, you want to be. When you are running, you want to be cycling. When you’re cycling, you want to be swimming. And when you’re swimming, you’re convinced that you look like a duck that had forgotten how to swim.
- You’re currently thinking that the new zit, that started yesterday on your nose, might actually be the start of a beak, which would serve to make you look more like a duck that had forgotten how to swim when you’re swimming.
- You really, really despise acne.
- You grew a beard because you were bored. And then you shaved your head for the same reason. You believe this look works for you.
- You hate that definition of the word “enormity” has changed with time, and cringe whenever you hear it used to describe something “really big.”
- You can’t write “really big” without giggling and thinking “speaking of something really big…”
- You’re thinking that, for the promised dick joke, that was a pretty lame entrant, but I know you chuckled.
- You really wish you didn’t enjoy eating so much. But you do.
- You want more tattoos. You really want more tattoos.
Ultimately, you’re not perfect, but you think you’re a pretty good guy. Above all, you know you’re loved — and that, all by itself, keeps you warm at night.
Follow John on Twitter.