I am home now. I am practicing my fatherly skills instead of bunker shots. I am a student now, again. I am practicing math instead of hitting tee shots. I don’t really have regrets about the way my life has turned out. Yes, I did some things that I’m not proud of. Yes, it’s taken me a while to think in the right direction. Yes, my view of what CAN BE  took what seems like a life time but I don’t play the “what if” game anymore. It is human nature however and an important process to help me become awesome, to look back. To learn from and more importantly to learn why, so I can move forward and not get stuck in reverse…EVER EVER AGAIN.

What are some more interesting things to look back at? (ok, ready for healthy hypocrisy , “what if game…) What would my life have been like if I would have gotten Math in the 3rd grade? I was held back for being dumb. That’s what I thought  for almost 30 years. Think like that everyday of your life and see what you look like? I struck out 4 times in a Babe Ruth Little League championship game. We won the trophy, I went home before pictures because of what a couple people said directly to  me, will not repeat these. I looked up to them. What if I would have just gotten one hit? I missed a shot in a Conference Championship game, HS basketball, to win. The star on the team tapped my miss in and we won. Once again I was on the bus during pictures. I will not repeat what I heard. Yes, I was a sensitive kid but that didn’t stop them. (pause and think about that sentence…)  This is when I started day dreaming about what it takes to leave the planet. Nobody knew that, so many days I just wanted them to shut up, I just wanted the noise to stop. You don’t talk about it though, not where I’m from. You will be looked at as weak, a sinner and cut from the heard. And if you do pull that trigger, you never existed. So I remained in a limbo, a fucked up teenage limbo.  I know there are so many of you that have heard me tell these stories before. I’m just not sure that you know how they actually affected me. 20s and 30s, magnify it and alter it into all sorts of wayward thoughts and actions.

I set out on this one to write a harmless piece comparing my struggle with Algebra to my struggles over the years hitting driver. They both held me back but what I’ve learned from all my therapy sessions and trust me there have been a lot; it’s not my fault and failures are mis-defined events. Yes, as an adult I’ve reacted and acted poorly in some situations. I did master one thing though, hiding. I hid amongst you. I camouflaged myself with fake confidence and chemicals. I got my PHd in deception. I learned how to make you believe the answer to the question, “Are you Ok?”  I have lost respect from a lot of my friends, these are the people that see life as one or the other. You get no opportunity to rebound, to come back. If you don’t know them, they are the ones who endlessly talk trash about Tiger. The ones who write terrible things about Dustin Johnson. They are the ones that laughed and said I would never make it on tour.  If you are not a golf fan, you might not get these examples. They are the ones that cast stones downward and never actually take time to pull someone up, the kick always moves down. Unfortunately our country is littered with them, you might be one. If you scoff at this and call me a name, find a label maker so everyone knows. You won’t even finish this paragraph and you will return to raising a new generation of selfish underlings, looking down. Your  kick always moves down.

I set out to write a fun piece about math and a golf club. Distraction; I’ve been reading stuff all morning about the recent Church shooting and there are common themes. I am not an expert on mental health or hate but I betcha if I looked at this kids file I could diagnose it. I’m not identifying myself with him, I would never do that. I’m just saying if we don’t start paying attention to our kids, they will destroy us. The number one type of abuse is neglect. Do you really know your child? Have you put your phone down and talked about these shootings? Did you carefully construct your words or did you just spew what your parents told you?  Have you taught them empathy? Have you showed them the world? Or do you help them hide? Do you protect them from truth? Do you teach them what their words can do? Do you teach them that it’s ok to feel  and do you teach them when to stiffen their lip? Do you teach them to be leaders or do you just teach them that STUFF is the most important thing?  Do you teach them not to kick? The kick doesn’t have to move downward.

I apologize for the soapbox blog. I just had to get it out. Back to my ultimate distraction, the US Open but my daughter needs me first. Wife first, daughter first; golf and everything else in 2nd by a long wayward tee shot. FORE!!!

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