How Patrick’s Life Choices Affected My Own

Back in January 2015, Christine asked if my Dad’s life choices affected my own. I recorded this response while driving.

Naturally in this vastly interconnected yet simultaneously disconnected world, all things impact all other things. A mosquito bite in Africa can lead to profound consequences in North America. So, yes, there were certainly aspects of his decisions that impacted me, not the least of which was his need early on to strike out on a new life while my sisters and mother and I were left behind—or maybe we were the ones that struck out and he was the one left behind… philosophically, certainly not realistically. Hell, I just lost that thought.

Completely unrelated, there’s a woman at the corner holding up a sign reading “Incest is not okay.” What the heck is that about? There were other signs there (at the intersection across from The Oaks mall at Hillcrest and Lynn) but I am traveling southbound so I can’t see them all.

Back to the question about how my dad’s decisions influenced my own. There are certainly some decisions, some characteristics he has that I think I find valuable and try to emulate in some ways. His passion for the arts, his inquisitive nature, his wanting to know more about how the world works and how people work, and those sort of things. His willingness to defy the mold of ordinary and conformity, and to choose his own path even when it is difficult to try, even when it impacts others. Maybe I need to rethink that a little bit because I do try very, very hard to consider other folks in my own actions. And yet, as Monique told me the other night, I am narcissistic and insecure—but that’s off topic.

Wow the hills are really green right now as I descend the Camarillo grade. I know we had a little bit of rain, but this is nice. I worry of course that it means there’s just more to burn later in the year, but let’s just enjoy the positive side of the lush hills for now.

Back once again to the topic. Maybe I’m reading too much into the question. His decisions have affected my own and certainly his decisions have affected my life—in many ways good, in some ways others would say not so good.

I can state with some authority that I do not ever consider what Patrick would do when debating a decision. He’s a role model for many things, but I’ve never really thought of him in that kind of analysis.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say except that maybe I’m just my own man and I decide…. I weigh factors based on the things are important to me and, selfish or otherwise, I don’t take into account what others (including my dad) might say.

And yet, there are many who feel that I seek his approval.