In a few years I will be turning 40. Looking back on my life I have regretted some decisions I made. While I could blame my parents for some of the choices I made, I am not going to. Instead I am going to accept full responsibility for who I am and where I am in life.
Starting off with my parents I can look to my father and see what a real man is. Essentially in order to be a real man, all I have to do is imagine what he would do, and then do the opposite. My father was a gifted salesman, a talent I never had. He did teach me lots of skills, but the ability to sell can't be taught. You either have it or you don't. It is in business however that I learned the most. In short, never screw a business partner even if you think you can get away with it. My father would sell his own mother if he thought he could make a decent profit. I learned from his foolishness never to screw anyone over. He screwed people any chance it was cost effective to do so, and as such he died flat broke.
From my mother I learned about forgiveness, because she never forgave anyone. She would hold a grudge over the most trivial of nonsense. My mother was only happy when she was a victim. She loved to tell stories about how this person or that person did her wrong. Of course as a child you swallow anything you are given. Later in life as I grew older I saw things and I learned how to interact with others essentially by doing the opposite of what she did.
A real man honors his commitments. A real man doesn't cheat on his wife. A real man if he gets divorced pays his child support. A real man is the opposite of my father. A real mother would ensure that her children are not only well fed and live in a clean house, but also that they know how to cook and clean for themselves. The one skill my mother had that I wished she took the time to teach me was how to budget, somehow she managed to stretch a dollar. Instead this was a skill I had to learn on my own.
When I was on my own, I had no knowledge of how to cook, clean, or budget. Instead these are skills I decided to start learning when I entered my late 20's. Because our house was always dirty, that was the first thing I set out to learn how to do. I've come to enjoy it. In fact I even clean other people's homes for fun.
Budgeting was the next thing I set out to learn. I set out a goal to retire by age 40. Sadly I had a set back in 2008 when my business failed and I ended up living in my car and finally as of late 2012 I am back on track.
The next big task for me is learning how to cook. Previously I have used basically whatever I could with the microwave. However, I want to get into cooking the same way I do with balloons. Turn something basic into something wonderful. The problem is I don't really want to just cook for myself. So I have come up with a solution. Cook for others. Why not invite people over to eat and cook for them? So this is what I am going to start doing.
However, I am not going to blame my parents for my not knowing how to cook, or succeed in business. I was the one who chose to start my own business and I was the one who lost all of my money. I am the one who has put off learning how to cook all these years. My mistakes are my own.
My parent's divorce really did a number on me though. I saw first hand just how cruel people could be as they would use their own children as pawns. For the first time I saw my father not as a good salesman but as a failure. Looking back, he was always screwing people over in business, but I was too young to see it. For the first time I saw my father for what he was, it was traumatizing. Then the crushing blow when he called me to inform me that I was no longer welcome because his new wife said so. What a coward.
For the first time ever my eyes were open to what truly made my mother happy, being the victim. Her husband left her for another woman. She relished in it. I feel like I got the most vile of her abuse partly because I looked so much like my father. The only difference was my hair was brown, his was grey. I will not repeat the things she said to me as I prefer to keep that buried.
The other thing was the high number of divorce going on with my school mates. Currently 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. That number scares the smurf out of me. No matter how hard I worked, I could lose half of it because of no fault divorce laws. Added to that is the fact I never saw first hand what a marriage is supposed to be. Even before the divorce my parents slept in different rooms. I was told the reason was because when my mother was pregnant with me, my father cheated and as such she moved into her own bedroom. Thanks for blaming it on me mom. Yes she did blame me. I grew up knowing that.
I know I could have been a better husband than my father was. I would never cheat. A real man doesn't do that. I would have seen to it that my children grew up in a clean healthy house. I wouldn't spend so much time at work where I would be seen as a stranger in my own home.
I guess what I am saying is that I have let my parents shortcomings rob me of my children. Because of fear, I never got married. I never started a family. My parents are both dead and buried now, perhaps it is time I bury my emotions as well.
One regret I truly have is losing my virginity. That is something I should have saved for my wedding night. If I ever do find the right person, sadly that is one wedding gift I can't give her. That is possibly one of my biggest mistakes ever.