Ostentatious. Fair enough.
I don’t know if I have been called ostentatious per se, but I have been accused of having a god complex. That felt really great! Apparently, having a god complex isn’t a compliment. At least it wasn’t when said about me. Not the first time…or the several times after. It seems the general consensus among people who are not fond of me is that I am ostentatious. Which made randomly getting this word all the funnier. I can’t get away from this subject. So, ostentatious? Fair enough.
Let us peel away MY god complex piece by piece, layer by layer.
First and foremost, we can talk about the “birth” of Punk Rock Papa. My Facebook page came about out of sadness and loneliness. I was at a point in my life where I felt completely alone. I would work, come home, kiss my wife as she ran out the door to work, and raise my kids all day. My conversations consisted of “You hungry bubba?” or “Is it nap time buddy?”. At work I really don’t socialize. I work in an environment with a high turnover rate. If you haven’t been there for at least a year it is likely I won’t talk to you because I expect you to stop showing up to work one day. A majority of the people are middle-aged job surfers who have a GED and some sort of substance dependency. Not exactly the people you can have stimulating conversations with. Sure, I have a few I get along with, but at the end of the shift we all go our separate ways. there is work camaraderie, nothing more.
So here I was, exhausted and sad. When my wife and I did talk, it ended up in a fight over the frustrations of living paycheck to paycheck or being unable to have an actual relationship because of our conflicted schedules. I felt, in no simpler way, like a single parent. All I wanted ever from my page was to talk to other parents, and know I wasn’t alone in this world.
That is all my page ever was or is. Me trying to talk to parents and not feel alone in the world.
Then, people asked me to blog. Over and over, “ You should try blogging!” Honestly, I didn’t want to and resisted. For the most part, I didn’t (and still don’t) read blogs. But, people wanted me to write. And I did. When I did, I found a place I could put all those things I had pent up inside. It didn’t matter how many people read it. I read it, and I became more familiar with myself. I healed through talking about things I had never felt right talking about. I found my true voice.
Apparently I am pretty good at it, people continue to read. If you are reading this now, then you are a testament to my ability. There comes the god complex. My page and my blog are only two-thirds of what make up my grandiose delusions of infallibility.
I started a group. Punk Rock Papa’s Brain Storm Bunker. The Bunker. Originally it was a handful of page admins I had met along the way. All likeminded and open folks who I felt a certain connection to. We took the Bunker and grew it. Along the way we picked up more Bunker Punks. It was a place where we talked about everything under the sun, from writing to deeply personal things. Everything was shared freely and openly. It’s always been diverse too. Parents of autistic kids, the parents who are close knit and waiting to be judged or bullied, joined parents of neurotypical kids. It was a place where we weren’t anything but parents. We became a family of sorts.
It is my group only in title, but the life pulse comes from people all over the world treating each other like loved ones. That is all I ever wanted and all I care for. Not feeling alone. I don’t sit there expecting people hand over indulgences. I just don’t want parents to feel alone. The Bunker is my village if you will. There are no expectations other than friendship and understanding.
The understanding that no one has to feel alone.
I have grown as a writer and a person through my page, blog, and this Bunker. Throughout it all I have maintained the idea that we all have voices to be heard. Throughout it all I have only wanted to know I wasn’t alone, which transformed into me wanting others to know they aren’t alone either.
Somewhere between being a lonely father to twins and now, I developed these ostentatious traits. These traits people hate so deeply in me. To be honest, I hope I am ostentatious. I want to impress and be over the top. It is a far cry from the person I was less than a year ago who needed to start a page so he could feel like he wasn’t developing a deep depression. So yeah, I will take this God complex, and wear it like a golden robe. I will show off what bears my name, in hopes of impressing the lot of you.
Working hard has left me healthy, happy and hungry for more. I want to continue to grow. To hone my craft as a writer. I take refuge from the world with my Bunker Punks and I hope they hold me up, as I would for every single one of them. I love my page. I love my blog. And dammit, I love my Bunker.
What were we talking about? The word of the day is ostentatious right! What a shitty fucking word to draw for a writing prompt. Of course I am ostentatious, I spend half my day online talking to strangers and writing about my feelings. I run a page, a blog and a group- all with my name on them. Every blogger out there is an ostentatious person. Not all of them are so ready to admit it. The people that actively deny it are no better than the ones who flaunt it.
Look at where I have gotten, on my own merit. I display it proudly and without any shame. If that means I am an ostentatious person with a god complex, fair enough.