Part III - of the Different Worlds for me and my Son Saga

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2 years ago
Topics: Goals, Advice, Learn, Tips, Father

Read part I HERE

Read part II HERE

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Where were we.. Aaah yes

So when we left off I was 24 and had managed to freewheel my way into an actual career, in IT support. It was at this point that I finally moved out from my parents' home to an apartment on my own. With the life, I described you can imagine that the endeavor went less than stellar. Add to that the fact my apartment was next door to one of the major drug dealers in the city, and I don't think I have to go into too many details for everyone to imagine how that went. Suffice to say that within two years I had been kicked out of the apartment, lost everything I owned except my clothes, and was living in the company car.

So surely that was when you had to change your life and work hard to make amends?

When my parents found out I was living in my car, remember these are my grandparents who were at that point over 60 years old, let me come live back home with them. Of course under strict conditions but nevertheless, despite my screwing up my life, freewheeling through my career, I got pulled out of the shit I'd gotten myself into without me having to make an effort.

Striking out on my own, Take II!

A year later my folks gifted me an entire furnishing for my next apartment and I moved out again. This time, having learned lessons from the time before, but nevertheless still partying every weekend, I managed to make it work. Partly because I learned to recognize the "friends" that seemed to disappear as my money ran out and partly because my salary had steadily risen over the years to allow me to live that life. Of course, the overtime I put in every week helped a lot. I had a 40 hour per week contract and I averaged about 75 hours per week. Again I had freewheeled myself into the good life.

Life did get less frantic, wild, and outragious over the years that followed

Over time the LAN-Parties replaced the House parties more and more. By the time I reached 32 I went to 3 LAN-Parties and 1 House party per month, and pretty much kicked the drugs out except for special occasions. I did smoke weed after work but by that time I figured that smoking weed was such an improvement from cocaine and speed that it was ok. And that was the life I had settled into and expected to live until retirement. Oh, the naivety!

And it all came crashing down

I managed to keep this up until I was 34, which was when I met my ex-wife and, married and we got pregnant within the space of 6 months. What happened after that y'all can read in the old three-part article "My miserable life, a cautionary tale" in which I describe the total melt-down of my life from which I am currently attempting to recover, during the times I am not totally depressed.

So I had a talk with my son last week about this.

Now my son wanted to emulate my life and wanted to achieve the life I had when I was 30. We had our talk last week, and he understood remarkably well why it was a bad idea. Here are the points I made to help him understand:

  • He isn't being raised by grandparents with well above average wealth.

  • Computers aren't as mysterious to the general public as they were when I was his age.

  • Law enforcement is actively enforcing copyright laws and laws have been implemented to outlaw many of the things I did when I was his age.

  • Mid-level IT-related schools and courses aren't a rarity anymore.

  • The IT sector has developed beyond its infancy it was when I was his age.

  • The IT bubble I was fortunate enough to have my career start in has burst and the sector is less desperate for new people than back when I started.

  • The IT-Support jobs I had aren't paying as much as they did when I had them. Things like company cars, tank passes, or unlimited use of both the car and the pass are a thing of the past.

  • Society as a whole has become less tolerant and more regulated than two or three decades ago. What we did back then isn't feasible anymore. If we did what we did back then today, we'd have criminal records and spent time in jail.

All these points came across but the biggest motivator for him to abandon his idea of following in my literal footsteps was the following:

"You know how my life is right now, and how my life has been for as long as you're alive. For a big part that is the result of how I lived my life before. If I had studied, gotten certificates, partied less, and been more responsible I don't think I would be as poor and as miserable as I have been for the past ten years."

My son is a lot wiser than I was at his age

My son nodded and said he would think hard about what I said, and I kind of expected him to promptly forget about it within a day. But yesterday he said that coming Saturday he wanted to talk to me. He said that I had told him what NOT to do but that he wanted to know what I thought he SHOULD do. I am both excited and anxious about having that talk with him the day after tomorrow. What should I tell him? What if I give him advice that winds up ruining his future? I'll be thinking it over, and probably wind up not sleeping, until the moment we have that talk Saturday. One thing is for sure. I will emphasize that most important of all is that he follows his own path, and makes the choices he thinks are best for him not what others think he should choose. I'll probably let you know how the talk went next week!

Thank you for reading this.

Stay safe and stay happy!


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2 years ago
Topics: Goals, Advice, Learn, Tips, Father