I’m about to be a father.
Typing that, reading that, and saying that out-loud still feels surreal. But by this time next week I won’t be writing at 5:30am, I’ll likely be holding my daughter, or changing a diaper, or grasping to just one more moment of sleep.
I’m confident now, transitioning from talking about being a parent to actually being one, that absolutely nothing can prepare you for this. I have no idea what I am about to be in for. I have no clue what I’m doing.
But I’ve been here before – no, not in an “about to be a dad” kind of way. But in an “I have no idea what I’m doing” sense. In many ways, as an entrepreneur who was tossed like a hand grenade into business ownership during one of the worst economic recessions in history, I’m here every day.
Learning. Fucking up. Trying. Tinkering. Failing. Growing.
And through the unknown, I’ve discovered interests and opportunities and things I’m truly passionate about. I’ve had amazing opportunities to travel the country, meet amazing people, and do the work that I love. Things that can truly only be discovered at the other end of that dark tunnel of uncertainty.
I’ve learned exponentially more about myself in the past seven years than I had learned in 24 years prior – and it’s a credit to huge life moments: Getting married, starting a business, running a business, buying a home, traveling around the country, experiencing the loss of loved ones and now…the joy of welcoming a little girl into the world.
For the past few weeks I’ve been telling myself, “This is the last time I’ll _____”. You can fill in the blank with any number of things. From having a quiet dinner with my wife to getting a full night’s sleep. Having a beer with friends to going on an early morning run. Inevitably, it’s felt like I’ve had to “pack everything in” to these last moments before life take a dramatic shift.
But now, so close to that shift happening, my mindset is pivoting from “This it the last time I’ll ______” to “This is the first time I’ll _____”.
The first time I’ll see my daughter. The first time I’ll walk around the neighborhood with her. The first time my family and friends will meet her. Yes, even the first diaper change. The first time she’ll call her “Mom”. The first time she’ll tell me she loves me. The first day of school. The first date. The first job. The list goes on and on and on.
The first time you do anything, of course, is terrifying. But thinking back to other “first times” in life, they represent these memorable, historic, and overwhelmingly beautiful moments in time.
And now, it’s not about my first. They’ll be her firsts and our firsts. My job – the most important job I’ll ever have – is to make sure that she experiences them, the pains and the joys, learns from them, and has the best possible life I can give her.
Today is the last Friday I’ll ever write without her being here with me. But now, more than ever, I can’t wait for the first Friday of the rest of our lives together.