Thursday, January 10, 2013

Don't Hide

To my son Tommy,

My zodiac sign is a crab.  If you look at a crab there is no way you would think they are good eating.  But once you get past the look and through the hard shell, you find delicious meat.  It is quite the welcome treat and surprise for those who take the time and effort to get through all the work.

Many times and in many areas of my life, I wanted to achieve this same surprise.  I wanted to be that unsuspecting treasure that is just waiting to be unwrapped.  Perhaps I watched too many movies like "With Honors" where a bum can be a brilliant well read mind or "Shrek" where an ogre is wrapped in layers like an onion (or a parfait if you prefer), or perhaps I read too many fables and stories where the ugly hag is really the beautiful princess in disguise or what seems like a frog turns into a prince.

For many years I hid myself.  Who would think a bartender would have read Plato's Republic at age ten, have a genius level IQ, and understand complex physic theories?  I worked hard to create a persona, a paradox, an enigma, a riddle, that covered my true talents like a present waiting to be unwrapped.  I hid my inner philosopher, my inner genius, my inner writer, my inner humanitarian, my inner spirituality, my inner geek, and so many more qualities.  All because I thought whoever took the time to find these qualities were deserved to be in my life.

I am here to tell you that I was wrong.  I shouldn't have done this.  I should have been true to myself and let my inner person shine through in all aspects of my life.  The hopeless romantic in me wanted to be this underdog, this diamond in the rough that you just had to look closely and you would see the potential and true beauty.  But the problem with that is the potential was already coming out and I suppressed it to make this false shell.  Then I pined for people to get through this and find the real me.  Hopeless is the optimal word in "hopeless romantic".  To think of all the time wasted making people jump through hoops to find out who I am.  To think of all the time wasted creating an image of an extraordinary person wrapped in ordinary unassuming person when I could have just let my extraordinary be known.

Luckily for both of us, your mom saw through all the bull crap I put up and saw that true person in me.  Many of my closest friends saw my true colors as well and we have a fierce and loyal bond.  Don't let these successes fool you, it still was the wrong way to go and I just got lucky.

As you grow up, put yourself out there.  Put your true self out there and let your persona and image fall where it may.  Don't deny the world your true talents and the great person you are becoming and already are.  I am not saying to go out and give in to conceit, but it is okay to say "Hey world this is who I am and I am genuine and I am gifted and I am damn proud of it" because be certain that is how your parents see you now and forever.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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