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Who Am I?

I'm divorced with 4 grown up children and 7 beautiful grandchildren. They are my world and hardly a day goes by without me seeing at least some of them. Most would say it's a nie place to be and it is. The only (problem?) is that I need to start my 'part2', move on and find who I am now I'm no longer 'Rick the husband" or "Rick the father". It hit me a while ago while I was tidying out my youngest son's room. He was the last to move out of the family home and I decided to clear out his old room and use it as a home-office. I pulled out his old Playstation he'd left behind, the one me and my 3 sons had played games on together for years. I thought it would be fun to switch it on and have a quick game. We used to have our favorite racing game that we all used to play and try and beat each others high scores and fasted times.I held the controller in my hand and it wasn't untilit asked me for my name that it dawned on me. I had ALWAYS been "Dad" on the scoreboard but as I instinctively started to type it I realised I didn't need to anymore. I was just plain old Rick now. Then I realised I wasn't sure who I was anymore, I'd always seemed to be defined by my many roles.

That was a few years ago now and since I've finally started to figure out who I am. Just that letting go is holding me back now.

I met my now ex wife when we both 17 so my whole adult life has been as husband, father and provider. Don't get me wrong, I've moved on from my marriage and we are still good friends. It's letting go a little of my family I struggle with. Am I being selfish in wanting to pursue my own dreams? My own needs? I do feel that way most of the time but I know they don't NEED me . . . maybe it's just that I still need THEM?
deleted deleted 26-30 5 Responses Nov 19, 2011

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...how are you no longer a "dad"/"father"? your kids have grown up, sure, but you do realise that when you become a parent, it's for the rest of your life, don't you? - you're still their "dad", you are still a parent. plus, now you're not only "dad" but "granddad" - you've gotten another role!

oh the empty nest. It seems full of opportunity. Always looked forward to my own time. Turns out I need to be needed. My daughter just moved to atlanta to college (im in midwest). Makes me feel insignificant when im not needed. Reality is they'll always need you and you can still pursue your dreams. Just feels weird cuz its different. Enjoy it!

Lovely autobiography. Its not selfish to want something different. Go for it youve accomplished so much and deserve even more.

Rick it is not just the childern or how you were defind. you have also hit a point in your life that every thing is intensified. I could not have childern and yes have felt that my status as wife in some ways defind me. but as you know from reading my stories you begin to feel and see things thru eyes of a different sense. finding your self and looking at what s most important. not that the life before was not. but i found i was so focused like you on taking care of family and marriage, that i never stopped to think what was i doing for me. it is not selfish butt rewarding to find who and what you are from this point of realization. you still will always be a father and friend to your ex wife but knowing the need now gives you something you never had before. a vision to find who and what you are and want with more intensitsive emtions. i am still exploring and think it will be a while before i know for sure what it is i am looking for but we are on that journey and that is the key i think. good luck

No, it is not selfish. It is simply time for you to build a new life for you. Our children leave us behind when they build new lives for themselves, start their own families, and we no longer have the same place in their lives. We stopped living for ourselves a long time ago, put all our energy into our families. Now, it is time to reroute that energy to us again. Some call it empty nest syndrome, I just feel our lives come to a stop with a lot of time to ourselves. We no longer live through our kids and have no idea who the heck we are without them. This is the most important journey of our life, seeking an intense and beautiful relationship with someone we can grow old with, hold hands with, and offer the best of ourselves because we have finally settled down and can give 100% to that special someone. The kids will always love you, now find that special other half you are waiting for. You have a lot to offer as a man, lover, friend. You are not just a father...