From Scrub to Hub...
The unofficial story
Dusted and defeated was how it all began. I suppose it wouldn't be a hero's journey if it started at the top.
I was sitting on the floor of my home office, tired as hell, wondering how I could have played it all differently. I had just gotten home from losing the Texas State Road Race (the SuperBowl of Texas Road Racing). Surrounded by the increasingly delayed-product from my new startup, MINERAL, I mindlessly packed bottles into shipping sleeves, recounting all my minor mistakes from that morning that added up to me losing the race in the last mile.
I really wanted to win it this year, too. I even almost tried my best. My training had wained the last few weeks due to some focuses outside of racing. I had taken a wonderful leap of faith leaving my "safe" 9-5 at large social media mgmt firm to join a very early stage "startup".
When I say I took the leap of faith, let's be honest... My wife was taking the leap, trusting I would figure out how to make this plane fly before I hit the ground. I was merely chasing after my selfishness.
Packages nearly complete, I gathered my things together and got ready to head to the post office. I heard my wife, Carly (she's an important character in this story) come in through the front door and head my way.
"Baby?", she calls in a tone asking of my location.
"Baaby?, she says again almost to the office. "Baby?", she says standing in the door way, asking in a way if she can tell me something. "Baby." Her eyebrows begin to softly curl around her almond brown eyes. She begins to smile and says it again, even softer this time.
"Baby?!", I ask even softer.
"Baby...", she says with her heart melting smile.
This is it.
We wait a week or two to tell our families and closest of friends. It felt as if I was holding my breath for the first few weeks, not able to bring it up in any conversation, while it was the only thing on my mind.
Still only several weeks in, we find the best mid-wife in Austin, start grabbing baby books, and look ahead to our first ultrasound to hear our baby's heartbeat. This would be the first huge mile stone, as the chances of a healthy baby increase dramatically after hearing the heart beat.
The ultrasound appointment took all of three minutes. For 10 seconds, I heard our little baby's heart. 163 beats per minute. In such amazement and awe, Carly and I get ushered out, punch-drunk in love with the thought of our baby. As we walk out to the car, I'm wishing that I could have sat there for an hour, listening to each little beat.
*Insert valuable lesson* This was our journey, and no one is going to care to make it as special as we will want to make it, and the effort and responsibility is in our hands.
Peering into my eyes, Carly agrees that this will be the last time we let someone determine our interaction/relationship with our child. Lesson learned.
The "come to jesus" moment
The room was beginning to close in on me and I was having trouble speaking. I started sweating, trying to carry on this conversation, and I couldn't remember what I was talking about. My heart rate began to spike as I couldn't figure out what was happening to me.
Then, as if recalling a deep seeded childhood memory, I realized what was happening.
The day before, I had my molars removed and was in a bit of pain, but refused to take pain pills. My buddy said they had a left over pot cookie that I could have to help ease the pain. I somehow missed the very important part about that one cookie being six servings.
There I was, surrounded by family and friends over shabbat dinner, and I was starting to trip.fucking.balls.
I anchored myself into a normal psyche as fast as I could and began to cling to it with a kung fu death grip. I knew that I was just beginning to carve into this wave. I braced myself for the very long night ahead.
Perspectives and emotions came and went. Casual chatter and calculated syllables exchanged places without warning over the next few hours. I fought hard not to embarrass myself or my family.
I thought I might make it out of this unscathed until I began to take a nose dive into the totality of my life circumstances. By all means, I'm very grateful for living in the top 1% of human history (none of which I can take credit for), but at that moment things seemed very, very, different.
Through traditional western colored glasses, my life seemed meaningless. I was almost 30, had no job, no savings left, and a baby on the way in 7 months. I couldn't shake the feelings of disgust for not having accomplished anything in my life so far.
After wallowing in this for some time, a strange story came to mind. I remembered a story about a soon-to-be father who was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said he would be lucky to make it past the birth. Feeling the loss and pressure of time, he set out to record his legacy before time ran out. A library of thoughts and stories recorded so that his child may one day look back and know a bit of the man that made her.
Something about this story resonated with where I was in my life; a timeline before me like none I've ever experienced before. I knew I had to do something like this. I thought about how this would be a once in a lifetime chance, privileged by technology, to record my journey from where I am today, to where ever I may end up.
This would either tell of my journey to create a better life for myself and my family, or be a chronological exposure of my weaknesses...
Only time would tell.