Learning to Say I’m Sorry

I love my place in this world. I’m a dad, friend, boyfriend, son, nephew, colleague and much more. In each of those spaces in my life, I love who I’ve become and aspire towards even greater things beyond what I can foresee. I enjoy every aspect of being a dad, watching my son mature slowly but surely into the man he wants to be. Over the years, I’ve seen him evolve from someone who struggled to communicate with words about his feelings, to someone who wants to share his story of depression and anxiety with others, and find healing for himself at the same time. I applaud his courage and most of all his awareness. I love being D’s boyfriend because I’ve finally met someone who I can be myself with. D makes sense to me and being with her inspires me to grow to become an even more supportive man for her, her kids and my son.

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How We Can Improve our Relationships

How can we improve our relationship with the people around us?

We all desire happiness, love and intimacy. These are all normal human desires that keep us actively pursuing relationships.

But how do we get from a place of chasing to a place of already having?

It took me a while to get to a place of knowing what the true answer is to this question. For the better part of my adult life, I chased love. I felt a void in my life that I felt only someone else could fill.

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Can Men Really Change?

Can men truly change? Ah, the million dollar question that lingers on every frustrated spouse and cynical single woman exhaustingly swiping left on their favorite dating app.

Some of the most common beefs I hear thrown around about my fellow male hopefuls are:

  • We’re emotionally unavailable.
  • We can’t commit.
  • All we’re interested in are sports, muscle cars, beer and getting laid.
  • We’re full of excuses and avoid talking about the real issues.
  • Men are losers and never show up.
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An Evening with Guests and How I Managed My Anxiety

It’s rather silly now that I think about it. I can’t believe that I even worried about it at all.

As I’m sitting here typing this bright and early on Saturday morning, sipping my coffee from my favorite mug, I’m reflecting on my evening last night at home with D, her kids and my son.

You see, it’s been awhile since I’ve had to play host at my apartment which is arguably a bit smaller than a suite at the Fairmont Hotel. Mind you, my apartment is much cozier and offers friendlier authentic service from yours truly, and that in itself is worth the price of admission! Pre-covid, I’d have friends over once in awhile for dinner. I’d prep the food usually, turn on some background music and play host to no more than three or four guests. But it’s been quite some time since I’ve done that and last night would be the first time I’d host D and her three beautiful kids for dinner. To me they were VIPs coming over and everything needed to be perfect.

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Photo by fauxels from Pexels

I had planned this about three weeks ago because I’ve been dying to have her kids over with my son, altogether under one roof in Coquitlam, which is my neck of the woods. My son and I have lived here for about ten years and I’ve lived in this neighborhood for just over twenty. Simply put I’ve built my nest here. It’s where I purchased my first home, raised my son, made so many new friends, and watched the community grow bit by bit to what it is today; a landscape of greenery, mountains, trails and water.

What I suggested to D three weeks ago was this: We can first all go to a nearby park in Port Moody and spend a few hours there, head over to my apartment afterwards where my son and I would prepare dinner for everyone and play host to entertain.

This all sounded lovely until yesterday morning when my good friend Anxiety decided to show up unexpectedly.

What if it starts to rain in the afternoon and we’re not able to go to the park?

Will the parking lot be full if it’s sunny? Afterall t’s a very popular spot in Port Moody.

If it gets too sunny, my apartment gets uncomfortably hot. What will I do then?

What if my recipe for dinner doesn’t turn out? I’ve always enjoyed cooking for others who appreciate it, but I wonder if I’m biting off more than I can chew with six different things on the menu?

How long should we stay at the park til before heading over to the apartment? Will that give me enough time to prep dinner?

I want to be able to talk to D as well while cooking. Can I manage that? Will the kids all get along and not feel bored?

I’m still waiting for my follow up call from the doctor’s office for some blood work. I wonder if she has any updates for me.

I’ll be out of town next week for work and still need to prepare a lot of documents before Monday. Is there enough time to get it all in?

It meant a lot to me that D, her kids and my son had a positive experience last night which is why my anxiety crept in earlier that day.

Meditating throughout the day and grounding myself to the present, I realized there’s only so much I can do to control the outcome, and I simply needed to trust the Universe to take its course. With this mindset, my mind was open and allowed thoughts to flow in and out with much less impact on me than if I hadn’t had this self awareness. I reached several peaceful conclusions that helped me get on with my day unscathed:

Trust that D and her kids are very simple and loving people who just want to spend time together, regardless of the activities planned.

Trust my son would be a big help in the kitchen and also interact with everyone, knowing his personal development stock is on the rise.

Trust my cooking skills are more than sufficient to provide a lovely dinner for everyone.

Trust in myself that I am good enough and that I’ve got my back for whatever happens. In other words, remain confident that I’m worthy enough of this wonderful relationship with D.

Trust in my capabilities to manage my work based on my years of experience and not feel overwhelmed by all the sudden emails.

Anxiety is a perfectly normal emotion to feel. We feel it sometimes for a variety of reasons, but most often times in my experience, it’s self-inflicted. When I peel back the onion, the root of the issue is when I find myself thinking too far into the future, worrying about things beyond my control. When I focus on things I could only do in the present state, I feel relief and a greater sense of calm.

Finally, I also reached the conclusion that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Sometimes the imperfections can make the most fondest memories. Striving for perfection can be merely an illusion and sometimes over-rated. It’s a carrot that we’ll never be able to reach. What we need to strive for is acceptance and gratitude. I used to say, the imperfections are what makes one perfect!

The evening turned out extremely memorable for me. The afternoon in the park was delightful and dinner with everyone was fabulous. I explained to my son afterwards, that I’ve never felt this sense of familial peace before and I’m so thankful to have shared that with him, D and her kids. More importantly, I look forward to building on this experience and creating even more wonderful memories together.

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Jason Lee, Author of Living with the Dragon, Healing 15 000 Days of Abuse and Shame