Since becoming a father I’ve discovered that loneliness is a common theme. Not just with me, but other dads I’ve spoken to.
I go to work all day and then want to give my wife a few hours of non-baby time. So I often take my daughter and play with her until bedtime. This happens most days, which I love.
The one thing I’d forgotten to do all this time, was to take time for myself. My wife saw what was happening to me and insisted I call a friend and go out, but how can I do that in good conscious? Why do I get to go to the pub with a friend when she has to babysit? I’m doing it to myself and I have to change.
It goes deeper than that though.
For a few years I’ve been dreaming of a truck. I’d love to own a truck, go on adventures, or even live in a truck, or a houseboat, or a cabin in the middle of the woods.
It wasn’t until I found myself yearning for an old flip-phone that I noticed the pattern.
I’m dreaming of things that remind me of my youth and the option of freedom or escape.
Living in a truck or going for a drive on an unknown road is what I think of when my subconscious wants to get out of here.
I knew I wanted an old flip-phone to replace my work iPhone and thought it was because I fancied being a bit retro. After thinking about it and what I’d use it for, I remembered the feeling I had when I bought my first flip phone after moving to Warrensburg, Missouri for college. Or the time I was sailing around Alaska while working on a cruise ship, and went to the phone store by myself to pick up a prepaid phone.
It was freedom. Proper grown-up freedom where I was making the decisions, picking it out, and registering it under my own name.
That’s the feeling I miss. How do I get that back? Should I just let it go and know that my life has changed forever?
I know that being a parent is incredible, but I can’t help imagine what it would be like to have a little solo adventure, in a truck, wearing a cool hat and nobody telling me where to go or what to do. Pretty lonely, probably.
Cool, so I’ve figured out what’s wrong with me. What do I do now? I think I need a plan.
I’m going to make a plan for going out once per week and find a balance that lets me take time for myself and to reconnect with my friends. Of course, it’s a priority to give my wife the same. We’ll have to work out timing that works for us both and make sure that we work on our own happiness, each other’s and ultimately be better parents.
As for going to live in a truck? That’s one I’m still working on.