Fight the New Drug

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

To Die at 25

It begins now.

Last week one of the English teachers at SFIS told me about a book project she does every year with her students during the month of November.  Basically, she challenges her students to write to a certain word count every day on a story of their choice, and at the end of November, they all (including her) send in their “books” to this certain Web site that publishes one free one for the student and forever stays on Amazon to get published on an order by order case.
I was blown away.  A real live book?  With your name printed on the front of it?  This is my dream of dreams.  This summer while in a garden in Asheville,NC, I realized this was my true vocation: to be an author.
My conversation with the teacher made me realize that maybe I don’t have to wait to pursue my dreams.  And maybe I have to let go of writing the Century-winner, one and done like Harper Lee.  I need to get one out, even if it’s bad, and at least try.

But what should I write about?
I thought about…
How I’ve always wanted to write a book before I die
Where I am in my life
What I’m most passionate about.

Strong for others.
I thought about some reminders I’ve had that we men are in trouble and in a mess.  Recently I heard about two strangers having sex at a retreat for young adults, and I was extremely disappointed that that would happen at a retreat of all places.  At our CUA Business School (which is now accredited, so proud) breakfast this past weekend, President Garvey made a note that it’s getting harder and harder to recruit male students with scores and applications to par with female students.  The other day I received a hand-written thank-you note for my small donation to the National Fatherhood Initiative, and they wrote how some of the proceeds helped one father in New York realize “that being a dad meant not only providing financially for his daughter but being there emotionally for her as well.”

I thought about how I get up every morning always thinking about being the best version of the man I’m supposed to be that day, sometimes succeeding, more often failing.  I thought about why I care so much about this ---I want to be the best husband one day for Mimi, I want to be the best man of the house for a family one day, I want to be a good role model at work for the children, etc.  I thought about why this matters for all men---because the actions we take affects others, other men, the women we treat, the sons and daughters we might have.  There are too many broken sons and daughters who have a lost part of themselves because they have had a lost father.

I thought about who I used to be, what and who I got to find at Catholic (great brothers and friends), and the extreme gratefulness for how it’s had a huge impact in the man I am today.

He had a dream. Why not pursue mine?
Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
“If you haven’t found something worth dying for, you aren’t fit to be living.”  I remember reading that years ago, and wondering what and who I would die for.

This is what I would die for.  That is what my book will be about.  My and men’s pursuit and struggle for authentic manhood, and why it matters.  And it will begin with my story and my stumbling journey.

This November, I will no longer be 24.  And my death could very well be soon after.  This is my chance to pursue a life dream without taking for granted what will come next.  To write about what I would lay my life for.

This is my chance. To Die at 25.


1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to read the book and share it! I am sure it will be awesome.