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Where I Wanna Be

DONELLJ2

As I sit at my desk writing this Donell Jones intones in my ears “ But when you love someone you just don’t treat them bad/Oh, how I feel so sad/Now that I wanna leave/She’s crying her heart to me/How could you let this be?/I just need time to see where I wanna be…”

This is not just my iTunes randomly accessing my memory bank; rather it’s a deliberate effort on my part to get into the headspace I need to be to write this post. You see, there is a story behind this song. It’s a story that goes back almost a decade ago now, when I was 21. Back when I was in university and dating my first serious girlfriend as a twenty something. We both loved the music of Donell Jones. So much so that he provided the soundtrack to some of our most intimate moments. Little did we both know that he would also inadvertently gift me with the soundtrack to our break up. Donell sang my stupid young self into a sticky situation.

“Never did I imagine/That you would play a major part in a decision that’s so hard/Do I leave, do I stay, do I go?/ I think about my life and what matters to me the most/Girl, the love that we share is real but in time your heart will heal/I’m not saying I’m gone but I have to find what life is like without you…”- Donell Jones(Where I Wanna Be)

Truth is we shouldn’t have even been dating in the first place. In the beginning we were amazing friends and with the benefit of hindsight I realise that we should have probably stayed just that. But what did I know? She was a vibrant, witty, smart, vivacious and focused woman. And I was just horny little boy, still several more mistakes away from becoming a man. We shared most of the same lectures and were part of just a handful of African students on campus so naturally we gravitated towards each other until one day I found myself in the middle of that boundary setting “What are we ?… where is thing going?” conversation. Thinking only of quenching my lust and without giving it much further thought we agreed to date. It was the only way I figured I would get the booty.

Despite the idealistic view of myself at the time as a romantic, there was nothing romantic about that union on my part at least. I was probably more enthralled by the idea of such a vivacious and vibrant woman giving me the booty. And she had quite the booty too so I am not even mad at my younger self for that. However I am disappointed in my younger self betraying my own views on what I thought romance was and going even further to try and convince myself that that was what we had. It wasn’t. It is probably the first time I can recall that I allowed my ego to make a call that my heart should have been making. It wasn’t going to be the last either.

This was a relationship that was convenient for me at the time more than anything else. At the time I was also working part time to support myself. So come time for lectures I often tired and struggled to always pay attention. But luckily for me I now had a girlfriend I shared most of my classes so I was covered. I could always count on her to catch me up on anything I had missed and often relied heavily on her own personal notes. For most of my second year of university exams I also relied heavily on the cheats sheets she would prepare. And that is how I made it through that year.

Despite all this I still felt I could do better than her. Why? Simple. Ego. Not to mention that I obviously wasn’t in love with her. Also as is usually the case when you are in a relationship you start frequently getting attention from other girls that you weren’t getting when you were single ( I’ve never understood that). And for me this attention was coming from all the different kind of girls of different races and nationalities and it got to my head. I thought was the man and even though our relationship was seemingly fine I wanted out. So what did I do? Well, I basically plagiarised the lyrics to Donell Jones’ “Where I Wanna Be” in my break up speech to her.

“I said I left my baby girl a message sayin’ I won’t be coming home/ I’d rather be alone/She doesn’t fully understand me/That I’d rather leave than to cheat/If she gives me some time I can be the man she needs/But there’s a lot of lust inside of me/And we’ve been together since our teenage years/I really don’t mean to hurt her, but I need some time to be alone …” – Donell Jones(Where I Wanna Be)

I went even further and gave her some spill that went something like “Even Michael Jordan quit the game when he was on top.” The logic I was trying to sell to her was that it was best we go our separate ways whilst we still had fond memories of each other. My naivety and douchebagery is not lost on me.

She begrudgingly obliged me. I didn’t really give her much of a choice. And as karma would have it our relative fortunes would go on comically. I quickly learned that the grass isn’t always greener and that attention I had been getting fizzled out eventually. And she went to date someone else some time after we broke up.
Nothing could have prepared me for what would follow. For the lows and embarrassment I would put myself through all because my ego was shattered that she had actually moved on. There is one incident in particular that’s comes flooding back as I write this.

So there we were out one night post break up and I am acting the fool with my boys. That was until I until I spotted in corner of my eye grinding up on new dude. I still don’t know why but I flipping lost it. I won’t lie, I surprised even myself. But I didn’t make a scene; I just glared menacingly in their general direction whilst trying to comprehend why it bothered me so much. I was the one who ended it. The one who thought I could do better. So why was I was I upset? By now my boys had picked up on the source of my agitation. I remember one of them drunkenly offered to ‘take care’ of new dude if that would make me feel better. I was tempted for a second, but I just as quickly declined and made a bee line for the mens room. My ego was now in cruise control. There was no way it would let her think I was bothered.

My brilliant plan was to pull myself together in the mens room. Now in mens room my ego proceeded to give the man in the mirror an impromptu pep talk. One moment I was holding a glass of scotch in my hand, talking to myself and in the next I was hurling it at the mirror and shouting in frustration at myself “This is what you wanted … what the hell is wrong with you?” As the mirror came shattering to the floor new dude simultaneously walked in. wanted to crawl into the toilet bowl. That’s how embarrassed I was. So much for her not finding out that I was upset that she had moved on.

When a much older and wiser self looks back on this episode all I see is my allowing my ego to call the shots. From entering the relationship to not wanting her to move on, it was my ego that got me in those situations. That is not love, or even being in love with someone. It was selfish, self centred and petulant. But hey I was 21. Surely as I grew older and matured over the years I would learn how to starve my ego and feed my soul instead. Or would I?

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Writing My Wrongs

 

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I Have Never Been IN Love

Humpty_Dumpty_by_Erka_Kuragari

I have never been in love with anyone other than myself.

I have loved some people I have had relationships with, tolerated others, and some, well let’s just say it was just convenient. But when I really look back and think about it, and I am entirely honest with myself I realise that I was never really in love with any of them. At the time though I definitely believed I was in love. I desperately wanted to believe that I was in love. I guess it was easier than admitting to myself that I was a pragmatist who dated people he just got along with. People who massaged my fragile and over sized ego and made me feel loved. That I was probably in love with the idea of being loved and to show my appreciation I loved them back? This however didn’t fit in with the carefully crafted narrative I had written for myself. One in which I was a romantic, a lover. So I convinced myself I was in love. I might have even tried to convince myself that they were the one. What is probably more closer to the truth is that it was most likely just an infatuation with her booty.

Another factor to consider is that my younger self was so irrationally preoccupied with avoiding that mythical black hole that is the friend zone, so much so that I jeorpadised many a friendship that would have surely enriched my life. Where I could have been amazing friends with some of the people I dated I opted to date, again all because of that narrative I was trying to write. That I was lover, and a romantic. Oh how misguided I was. in my current incarnation I am not sure I have met “the one” yet or that there even is one specific person out there we are pre destined to be with. If it’s a case of soul mates I believe we can actually have more than one soul mate and we might actually never get to spend forever with any of them but that’s a story for another day.

I know how cynical and jaded I probably sound writing all but if you will please indulge me I will try and explain myself. At the end of Lauryn Hill’s song Doo Woop (That Thing) on her The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album a young girl offers up her musings on what she thinks the difference between being in love and loving someone. This largely informs my own understanding of what that difference is.

There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. You can love anybody. But when you are in love with somebody, you looking at it like this: you taking that person for what he or she is no matter what he or she look like or no matter what he or she do. You might stop being in love with them but you are not going to stop loving that person.- musings of a young girl on Lauryn Hills Doo Woop (That Thing)

My understanding and interpretation of that is that being in love is typically based on dependability, respect, compromise and compassion. Loving someone on the other hand is particularly different. You basically want the best for them and you encourage them in what they but you might not necessarily compromise for them or be dependable. It’s a very thin and blurry line between the two.

The biggest lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves. In fact for us to lie to others in most instances we lie to ourselves first. We tell ourselves that we are protecting them or don’t want to hurt them and we use that as justification. We are lying to ourselves. When I look at most of the relationships I have been a part of throughout my twenties a pattern slows starts to emerge. There are a few recurring themes that characterise all those relationships. Whilst the people I have dated are all unique and different there is one common denominator in all those relationships – yours truly. Whilst the relationships have ended for a myriad of reasons it has been the same qualities and characteristics of my person that have always had the deciding vote in the end. Whether it was a breakdown in trust, a lack of communication, divergent views, values or goals it was how mostly my ego dealt with those challenges. And so it has been that my ego cast the decisive vote on my part.

For me the deciding vote on whether to stay, fight for it or walk away has always been predominantly cast by me ego. I am in no way saying this is the right or mature way to have handled things but that it is what is. I can’t rewrite history; I can only hope to write my wrongs and maybe someone else might learn from my flaws and mistakes. Whenever my relationship became untenable, it was usually because my ego was no longer being massaged. And that was all the incentive I needed to move on. In some situations I have pushed be trusted or loved and vice versa. In the few instances where I was on the receiving end, and my trust was broken as long as my ego was soothed somehow in the aftermath I would stay, because that’s all that really counted, my ego. Not being in love or loving someone. Maybe I have never even been in love with myself and Instead I have been in love with my ego.

Over the course of this I will use this blog as a vehicle for me to start writing my wrongs by discussing and analysing some of the defining relationships I have had in my life and trying to get a better understanding and further insight into my own actions. Hopefully In the process I will begin to find the answers as to why I made the choices I made, why I have never been in love. I will be writing in search of my truth. It will be the start of a journey I am embarking on to starve my ego and feed my soul. And maybe in the process I will not learn from my mistakes but also grown within the margins of the blank page.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Writing My Wrongs

 

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Lessons From My Father

 

All of last week I did a series of blogs in which I shared some of the lessons I have learned from my father. To be entirely honest I have been surprised at just how much that series of blogs resonated with my peers. It has been greatly encouraging. The feedback I have gotten has only made me appreciate the man even more. I have also felt vindicated for having the courage not only to write those lessons down but also for having shared them. I often worried that maybe I was just indulging the nostalgia junkie in me with all the trips I was taking down memory lane. That no one really cared much for the high esteem in which I hold my dad. The rest of the time I felt I wasn’t playing my own little beautiful games with the language. But I was very wrong. Many of of the lessons had an almost universal appeal. And I also learned that sometimes simply sharing a story that resonates is the most beautiful game you can play with words.

The irony is that even though I have been blessed to have such an amazing father and role model I haven’t always looked at it from that perspective. As I’ve hinted at before on this blog, growing up I was a mama’s boy. My mum coddled me and I almost always had my way with her. My dad on the other hand was the tough one. The disciplinarian. Even though he always made a point of saying “well done”, he would no sooner point out that I could do even better. And I resented this. But he would go on to remind me that I had one father and he was the one person in my life that would always tell it like it is. He would say that some day I would be thankful that I had him by my side to navigate this crazy little thing called life. I never thought that day would come.

But here we are many years later and I am proudly writing about those very things he has always tried to instill in me. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I am more conscious of the kind of man I want to be and with that came the realisation that I already had a blueprint for that in my father. As a result the older I have gotten the more I have started to see the wisdom in my dads words to a younger me.

Ever since I turned 30 I have found myself thinking more and more about the kind of man I am and the kind of father I would like to be one day. What started out as a quest to celebrate my father’s impact on my life snowballed into me sharing those lessons with readers of this blog. Many conversations have grown out of that and I realise that I am not alone in my experiences. More importantly I have also reminded myself of many of those lessons. The challenge now lies in actively applying them to my own life.

In case you might have missed them I have shared links to all the blogs in the series Lessons From My Father below

1. A Few Good Men

2. Let’s Talk About Sex

3. Put That Woman First

4. My Very Own House Of Stones

5. Head of The Household

6. I’ll Never Let My Son Have An Ego

 

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I’ll Never Let My Son Have An Ego

iTunes shuffle is the best thing since sliced bread. There. I said it. Now that we have gotten that out the way , back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Earlier I was contemplating what exactly I was going to write about for this series of blogs I have been doing this week on the lessons my father taught me. There are so many lessons and I was struggling to pick one particular lesson to share today. But whilst listening to the song ‘New Day’ by Kanye West and Jay Z I knew I wanted to talk about my father’s legacy to me and the legacy I hope to one day pass on to my own son should I ever be fortunate enough to have one.

‘New Day’ is one of the more emotional and introspective tracks off Jay Z and Kanye’s collaborative album ‘Watch The Throne’. In the song both Kanye and Jay have conversations with their unborn sons. A constant theme in both rappers lyrics is a desire to give their future sons better opportunities and a better life than they had growing up. They are not necessarily speaking about material wealth. Their wish is that their sons become better men than they were. They want their sons to not have to make the same mistakes they did.

‘And I’l never let my son have an ego. He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go. I might even let him be Republican so they know he loves white people …. Don’t want him to be hated all the time. Don’t be like your Daddy that would never budge’ – Kanye West ‘New Day’

Most fathers are accused of trying to make their son’s into miniature versions of themselves. If it’s not that then they are accused of trying to live out their broken hopes and dreams vicariously through their sons lives. some mistakenly believe providing their kids with material wealth will suffice. But there is also another narrative. Father’s whose aim is that their son’s become their own man and best possible man they can be. Father who spend time and make an effort to nurture the character of their sons.These father’s are more focused on the legacy that they live their sons. That legacy is often some aspect of their character or lessons learned from their own mistakes. The values that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

‘Sins of a Father make your life ten times harder. I just wanna take you to a barber, bonding on charter’s, shit I never did. Teach you good values so you cherish it…. Took me 26 years to find my path, my only job is to cut your time in half …’- Jay Z ‘New Day’

My dad’s personal career success meant very little to me as a child. It is his character and the man that he is that has had a greater impact on how I approach my life. That is what I believe is his legacy to me. From an early age my dad taught me that people will treat you the way you allow them to. He also taught me that I should never let anyone tell me that I couldn’t achieve anything. It was very important to him that I became my own man and that I learn to make my own decisions from a very early age. He afforded me a great deal of autonomy on my life. This is not to say he let me just be. Whenever he thought I was losing my way he would never hesitate to gently guide me back onto the right path. And all the time he managed to make feel like I was in control and in charge of my life but I knew if I ever needed any help he was always there. My dad gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person. He always believed in me, even when I doubted myself.
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Whenever I tell my dad any of my plans he always says the same thing. I remember when I first told I wanted to write a book. Despite my trepidation he was true to form and said to me” Make sure you follow through with it. Whatever you start, you must always finish.” Anything my dad has ever started he has always seen it to the end. So in that regard he has led by example. And that is probably one of his greatest legacies to me. Because for all the things he has taught me the greatest lessons I have learned have been from following his example. I just hope by the time I have a son I will be able to do the same for him.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Lessons From My Father

 

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Head Of The Household

Relationships are complicated. There is no one formula that works for all relationships. But there are some guiding principles that will always help us in our quest to having more fulfilling and meaningful relationships with the people in our lives. The most important relationship we will all ever have is the one we have with ourselves. This relationship sets the tone for all other relationships. However we hope to be treated or aspire to treat others we have to first look inwards and learn to love and be kind to ourselves first before we can even begin to extend the same courtesy’s to others.

From an early age my dad always taught me to believe in myself. To always treat others with kindness and respect. And to always be confident in my own abilities, but never arrogant. He also taught me to always show empathy and never to compromise my values. Another lesson my dad taught me was to always have an understanding of the dynamics of any relationship I was in. I must always know what my role in any relationship is. And If I am not comfortable with that role I must reassess the value of that relationship to my life. Was I a leader or a follower? A teacher or a student? Or maybe even an equal? According to my dad if you understand your role and accepted it you were putting yourself in a much better position to ensure that relationship was worth it.

Growing up we had a pretty defined family structure. My dad was the head of the household. He took it upon himself to be the leader of the family. And my mother gladly accepted that. Even though I have referred to my parents as the dream team of the marriage game on this blog before, it was never in doubt who the captain of that team was. It was my dad. But if my dad was the captain of the team then my mum was definitely the star play-maker. They needed each other. They played for each other. They supported each other. But even more importantly they had a shared vision of how they wanted their lives to play out. Because of that they both accepted their different roles in their relationship and it has worked for them. They understood their dynamic and took full responsibility for their particular roles.

Being the eldest child my dad always pushed me to take on the responsibility to be a leader in my own right. I was supposed to always set an example for my siblings. To this end he insisted that my younger siblings prefix my name with Mukoma when addressing me. (Mukoma is the shona title for a big brother) Everything I did he would remind me that my brothers and my sister looked up to me. To be honest, this is not a role I initially wanted to accept. Half the time I felt I had no clue what I was doing and the rest of the time I wished I had a Mukoma I could look to for answers. But this was before I realised that I had something much better to look to for guidance, my dad. As soon as I accepted that I became comfortable with being a leader for my siblings and I embraced the responsibility that came with it. Mukoma wasn’t just a title; just the same way my dad being the head of the household wasn’t one either. You had to accept, shoulder and live with responsibility that came along with it. And even though you are a leader you always have to treat others with respect. Only then would the dynamic ever work.

For a huge chunk of my life my father has been my mentor and as I have grown older the dynamic of that relationship has shifted and he has become one of my best friends. That is also the case with my siblings. We are all adults now with different experiences and with each passing day I am learning more and more from them as well. And that is a lesson I am still learning that even though relationships may have a specific dynamic at one stage in our lives it doesn’t always have to stay that way. It also important to evolve and accept these changes and you are guaranteed longevity in whatever relationship you have.

I am very grateful for the many lessons that my dad has taught me over the years. That has been part of the motivation behind this series of blogs over the past week. Not only did I want to share those lessons but I wanted to appreciate him in my own way. I also needed to remind myself of some of these lessons.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Lessons From My Father

 

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Put That Woman First

My parent’s relationship is the blueprint from which I have tried to mold all the relationships I have had so far. Albeit with a far lesser degree of success than they have managed over the 32 years that they have been together. In my eyes, my parents are the dream team of the marriage game. This is not to imply that theirs has been a perfect marriage – no marriage is. And that is probably the most important thing I have learned. Theirs is an imperfectly perfect union. They are each other biggest fans. They continue to consistently make sacrifices for each other. They have an innate understanding of each other strengths and flaws. They complement each other. And even more significantly they are the very best of friends.

My parents do almost everything together. They spend as much time as they can together. They are open and transparent with each other and whatever their differences they have always presented a united front to me and the rest of the world. They even have a joint bank account! Having had my fair share of relationships I am fully aware of the level of trust and openness that is a prerequisite for such a decision. Most of us won’t even allow anyone we are in a relationship anywhere near our phones, let alone our bank accounts.

As a team, my parents each had their assigned role when it came to raising us, their kids and they both did it exceedingly well. I am a living testament to that. Growing up I naively assumed that this was the modus operandi in most marriages and families. It is only in my teens that I actively started noticing how this was not always the case. That some of my school mates came from either abusive, single parent or ‘broken’ homes. How often one parent had to shoulder all the responsibility and play both roles that my own parents shared between them. That only served to magnify the gratitude I continue to have for my parents. Everything I am is direct result of the sacrifices they have both made. And I become more and more preoccupied with the purpose of my life I have begun to look more and more at their example and to try and learn as much as I can from it.

Being a man I have looked more specifically looked to my dad for guidance as I try to navigate my way into manhood and what it means to me. A lesson I have learned from my dad and his relationship with my mum is about putting your significant other first. This manifest itself best by you able to find happiness in your partners happy.

The best example of this come from when I started working my first professional job in Melbourne. My parents flew over to visit and take what was to be their first holiday alone for the first time since they had had me. Detouring through they arrived in Melbourne two love birds crazy in love with each other. This is probably the first I actually looked at them as two people just truly, madly and deeply in love even after all the years. During that visit I realised that they were not just my mum and dad. They were soul mates.

Whilst I ran the rat race during the week they indulged themselves taking in the sights and going on dates. It was only on weekends that I got to spend time with them and even then I felt like I was the third wheel. On one particular weekend I decided to take them shopping. I remember I bought my dad this really nice suit that he absolutely adored but on that day in that particular mall my mum couldn’t find anything that was to her taste. So she went home empty handed. What happened as we made our way home and for most of that evening will always stay with me. My dad was visibly upset and disenchanted.

Later that night I worked up the nerve to ask him why he had been in such a foul mood, his response surprised me. This guy was even more disappointed than my mum was that she hadn’t been able to find anything during our shopping trip. I was pretty certain he loved the suit he had got, but he couldn’t get himself to appreciate it because his wife hadn’t been able to get anything on that day. When my mum caught wind of the reason for his sourness , she told him to stop being silly and reminded him that she still had time to get something she actually wanted. To which my dad responded ‘ You know I can never be truly happy if you are not happy. You are my happy.’

It might seem like it was a trivial matter, but in that moment my dad taught me an important lesson. Always put your woman first.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Let’s Talk About Sex

Lets talk about sex

The first time my Dad gave me any advice that could be considered relationship advice I was 19. It was just a few weeks before I left for my university studies in Australia. There was no big prelude to give me any sort of inkling as to what this was going to be about. He just cut straight to the chase saying to me “I trust that me and your mother raised you the right way – with morals, to be always respectful and God fearing. At the stage that you are right now there is not much we can really forbid you from doing. Especially now that you are going to be living alone, 12000km away from home and us your parents. We wouldn’t let you go that far and spend the money that we are spending if we didn’t trust that you fully understood what is expected of you. You are young adult now. A man. You are going to have certain urges, be even more enamoured than you are with women now and vice versa. That’s perfectly normal. But I wouldn’t be doing my job as a father if I didn’t educate on the potential consequences of recklessly following through on those urges. Everywhere around us people are dying of AIDS. It’s no secret that’s what killed your uncle. But people, and even families avoid discussing it. And yet people continue dying. I am not going to tell you not to have sex, but what I will tell you is that if you choose to please always take precautions and use condoms. Respect and love yourself enough to at least take that precaution. That being said I would rather you didn’t rush into it” And just like that he was done.

Condoms

I was gobsmacked. I had never discussed girls, let alone sex with my dad until that moment. It was something that had always remained unspoken. I mean even at 19 I was a virgin, a baby and maybe even a bit of a prude. Yeah I liked girls but I had never seriously been in a situation where sex was an objective or even a possible outcome. My six years at an all catholic boys boarding school had seen to that. I had had girlfriend’s but it was mostly innocent. Whilst I had fooled around a bit, the actual act of sex had not been an even remote possibility in my mind’s eye.Not forgetting that it was logistically impossible. I spent 8 months of the year at an all boys boarding school and the rest at home with my parents. If the street lights came on and I wasn’t home, somebody was going to get hurt real bad. I never missed curfew.

But here was my dad telling me to use condoms. Where from? How? Why? To him it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to have sex some time in the near future. I wanted say to say to him “Don’t worry dad, I’m still a virgin and I plan on staying that way until I get married.” But I didn’t. Eyes to the floor I just kept quite and nodded hesitantly.

In retrospect I am glad I didn’t say anything. It seems my future self knew better.  Because only a few months later now at university I lost my virginity. And thanks to that practical advice from my dad, the only thing I seemed sure about during that forgettable experience was the need for using protection. How quickly things had escalated from just a few months before when I had my self imposed vow of chastity. And it wasn’t even with a girlfriend or someone I loved. This was just some random girl who though I looked like Will Smith (I don’t) that I had only hung out with a handful of times. Left to my own devices and away from the shelter of boarding school and my parents my resolve weakened.  I easily succumbed to the casual hook up culture that is prevalent in university life. No one actively pressured me to do it, it was something that all of a sudden felt like the next logical step.

I remember though that I was too embarrassed to tell my partner in crime that I was a virgin, but I am sure she figured that out. I had no idea what I was doing and a little over a minute later it was over. I cringe just thinking about it. I didn’t have any regrets though, even though I had previously planned to stay celibate til marriage. At that point that was the right decision for me and seeing as I placed no value at the time of doing it with someone I loved, I am glad my dad had that talk with me. Just hearing it from him had made sure that it was always going to be at the forefront of my mind.

Years later, I was much older but not that much wiser I was back home at my parents. Having lived away from home for years I had grown some balls and figured I could pretty much come and go as I pleased. On one such occasion I ended up sleeping over at a girls house. When I sheepishly returned home in the early hours of the morning my dad wasn’t too impressed and he let me have it. This talk I brought onto myself. After establishing that I had slept over at a female friends house, he went on to ask me if we she was my girlfriend. She wasn’t. She was a friend (with benefits). Although I didn’t disclose the benefit’s part.

No matter, that was just the launch pad he needed.  He pointed out that I was grown man fully capable of making my own decisions, but he was my father. And he wouldn’t being doing his job if he didn’t say anything. No one else might tell me this but I had to hear it. He pointed out that I was an eligible bachelor, with a very bright future in front of me. Most women will see you as a good match and probably fall over themselves to be with you. And that could make me a target. Whilst I had achieved quite a bit he knew very well I wasn’t responsible enough yet to be a father. so he gave me this advice. If you are going to sleep with someone, at least make sure that on some level you can visualise that person as the potential mother of your child. If the very idea of that person carrying your child makes you uncomfortable then keep your pants on.

The point he was making was that by indulging in sexual intercourse, protection or not I needed to be cognisant of the possibility of pregnancy. The expectation was that once that happened there was no shying away from the responsibility that lay ahead. He put it to me that I wouldn’t end up happy if I ended up marrying someone just because they got pregnant. Neither did I want to be an absent father or have someone else raise my kid. The way he saw it, I needed to be more thoughtful of the potential consequences of my sexual ambivalence. And the way I took it, if I can’t envision whoever I sleep with being the mother of my kids, then I shouldn’t be playing Russian roulette with my penis.

At this point in my life that is the most relevant and practical advice that my dad could have given me. And I am grateful for that.

 
 

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