There are many things that I do that I like to think defies conventional expectations. For example, instead of merely flexing in the mirror like so many other males, I undergo an entire Mr. Universe routine that highlights the shoulders but ignores the gut. Very cutting edge stuff. I also eat Mac and Cheese with the noodles upside down, a difficult concept to understand but once you try it you will soon agree that there is no other way to eat it.
However, as unique and special that I think I am, complete with my own safe space inside my head, the truth is that I am as conventional and cliche as you can get. I live in the suburbs. I mow my yard. I help the kids with their homework and I root for the home team. I read books about war and complain about politics. Besides the fact that I'm an at home dad, somewhat rare even today, I am Mr. Cliche. I do exactly what you expect me to do for the most part. Except when I went tarantula hunting in South America (true story) there is really nothing about me that you wouldn't expect to see.
Which is good because now I embrace my lack of uniqueness and do what millions of at home parents have done before me. Drink copious amounts at the bus stop.
But besides the heavy unmoderated alcoholism at 8 a.m. in the morning, I am also taking a class at the local community college. I am attempting to better myself by following in the footsteps of almost literally every single stay at home mom that has come before me. Thanks for paving the way ladies!
Yup, Hossman is doing a little extra coursework. This I do find surprising because I never thought I would return to school. Once I graduated college I thought that would be the end of it for me. This didn't mean that I did not desire to continue learning, no. Just my learning now is more directed towards self-interests and less about bettering myself. For example, recently I am listening to a podcast about the history of the English empire. I have learned from that very interesting podcast that kings and queens killed lots of people and had a lot of parties that it turns out they couldn't really pay for which can certainly be seen as the tradition of the American people.
But now I need something more instructor guided. I am taking a creative writing course, the one of what I hope to be many, to start a trail of discovery. It's time to decide if I can really tell a story and if I can, how do I do it better. Looking at the almost 10-year history of this blog, I have written characters, plots, had twists and told the stories that were in my head. I've embellished and made the most simple chores seem like a Viking on a quest to reach Valhalla. It's been fun and I plan on continuing. In fact, I plan on writing my ass off this year, the handsome hunk of flat meat that it is.
However, I can't continue to take 10 years to have well-developed characters. I need to get a move on. And of course, this is almost due entirely due to the awesomeness of my wife who encourages me daily. In fact, if it wasn't for her I would probably never see how far I can take this. I like making her laugh and honestly, that has been the true motivator over the last 10 years.
My youngest, Bacon Hoss, is in preschool now twice a week. This was somewhat of a wake-up call that within 2 years I will find myself alone in a house with nothing but cleaning to do. Cleaning, while important for sure, has about as much interest to me as the pile of rocks that are currently sitting on the front porch that I do need to clean up. But rather than clean them up I have used them as a zen garden to help me to decide what my next step is and how to achieve it.
On my long walks in the woods this fall and winter, the times where I dropped off my son, sent my other two to school, I did a lot of thinking. This is what woods are good for. That and spiders. The woods have lots of spiders. Fucking spiders everywhere. But on these walks, it helped me plot my course over the next two years so we are giving it a shot.
I've been lucky enough that I've been published already. And even though the works were in very local markets or for very niche communities, the work got out there and someone thought highly enough of what I've written that they paid me for it. Now I have to get passed the fear of what I've written being public and being read.
I know this sounds weird as I have written here for so long but in my head, I have convinced myself that no one really reads any of this. That this has been for mostly the benefit of my wife. I know that this isn't entirely true as I have heard from people that I have never met that they read what I posted and found it funny. It's always weird and flattering to hear that but at the same time I file it away as a "fluke" and move on to the laughter of my wife. My daughter is old enough now that she reads the blog as well and has gone through many of the stories here about herself and laughed. I love this.
So that's my next step, the result of thinking in the woods and dodging spiders. A creative writing class. I've written some short stories based on writing prompts, perhaps I'll put them up here and perhaps I won't, honestly I haven't decided. They are weird and twist but they make me laugh and I'll take it.
But whatever I write for this class, screw it, I'll put it up here at least to do something that doesn't make me feel comfortable. And right now, with Bacon Hoss getting closer to school, I probably need to get uncomfortable for a while.