Prompt 114: How would you be different if you had grown up in great wealth?

Prompt 114: How would you be different if you had grown up in great wealth?

I was very fortunate to grow up in a fairly affluent family. We were far from great wealth, however.


I was very fortunate to grow up in a fairly affluent family. We were far from great wealth, however.

I was lucky enough growing up to not really want for anything that money could buy. My perception of great wealth goes beyond that. I look at some people who come from families that allow them to do the things that drive them or they want to do.

If I had grown up in great wealth it’s likely adulthood would have been impacted greater than my childhood. I would have liked to have started some businesses and set up some charities.

I’ve spent a lot of time throughout my life being involved with charities as much as I can. I haven’t had much wealth as an adult to be able to donate money. I have often donated my time since I didn’t have the money.

I would like to get back to that more. I also wish I had the money to be able to start businesses and to be able to market the services I have.  Having great wealth would almost always put any of us in a better chance to succeed.

Getting the chance is the first and often biggest step to being successful. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can often make life easier.

I’ve always been a person of many ideas and have a mind that is constantly going. One of the first I ideas I had for a business post college was to start a fantasy football website. I often wonder if I had pursued it where I would be now.

With great wealth, I would have been able to pay someone to help me develop this. My lack of assertiveness has also hurt me throughout my life.

Anxiety has held me back. I get nervous when I had to do anything that might involve rejection. Whether it’s asking out women or in a business setting it’s myself I am often afraid of.

With “great wealth” I might have been more confident in many aspects of my life. It would have hopefully led to more confidence, more assertiveness and maybe more success. The reality is that most of us are not that fortunate.


Prompt 105: A time you’ve been ashamed of yourself

The time I was ashamed of myself was when I was arrested for trying to reason with a utility worker who came to my house.

One of our utilities was turned off. I thought my then wife had paid the bill and she thought I did. A woman came to our house to reinstate the utility. When she went to turn it back on, she said she was unable to do so.

I tried to reason with the woman. I closed the door to my house and asked the woman can’t we work this out. She called her dispatcher. I immediately opened the door and let her out.

I said some things I now regret. After calling her dispatcher, the police were notified. They came to my house and I was charged with keeping the woman against her will. The entire thing was 30 seconds.

It is something that changed the course of my life. My eventual conviction has kept me from finding work, played a major role in the end of my marriage and likely cost me custody of my children.

One 30 second mistake has influenced the remainder of my life. We all have things in our life we are embarrassed or ashamed of. Many or most don’t have to have it have a major impact on the rest of their life going forward.

I wish potential employers, romantic interests, and the court could look past my mistake. I regret it tremendously. I did not hurt anyone. I hope if someone commits the same mistake in the future they will not be judged as harshly as I was.

We often judge people based on a piece of paper. One action in our life should not define us as a person. We should be judged by the entire sum of our actions throughout our lifetime.

I hope that in the future this will be the case.

Prompt 100: List Three People you Consider Enemies. Why So?

I used to hate people and consider people enemies who didn’t treat me right or would hinder my ability to have the things in life that I wanted or were important to me. I have learned to dislikes people’s actions instead of the entire person.

Going through a lot of adversity maybe even what some would consider hell has hanged my perspective on life. There are always going to be people out there who do not like you. Some might even go to the extreme of doing what they can to hinder you from having any success of happiness in life. Some people might consider those people to be enemies. Is it worth the time to dwell on that?

Sadly having been through a vicious divorce and custody battle I have seen the ugly side of many people. Seeing people that once loved each other and grew to have a strong dislike or hatred is heartbreaking.

I’ve heard many stories of spite, vindictiveness, pettiness and flat out lying in custody battles and   divorces so that people are able to get what they want.

When children are involved it’s soul crushing. Neither side is truly winning if decisions are made that hurt children. Do enemies really matter at that point.

Our country seems to be heading in this direction. Screwing our enemies seems to be more important than the common good. 

Politics have become far more partisan than doing the right thing. People don’t cooperate across the aisle anymore. Voting is more on party lines seemingly than ever before.

I’ve had to learn the hard way it’s more important to focus on what’s good than to self define who I might consider my enemies to be. The old adage is poltics makes strange bedfellows. 

This is often true in reverse in divorce. People who were once loved and hopefully best friends become adversaries and some would say enemies. 

I don’t like to look at things that way. Sometimes someone who might have been an adversary or if we must say enemy in the past could become and ally and vice versa. 

What’s always best is to keep an open mind. Hate the act but not the person and try to examine what’s best for eye greater good relative to the situation at the time and in the long run.

Instead of determining who the enemy is, look at the situation and how everyone can benefit for s compromise. 


Prompt 99: What you know of your family’s history all told, is it a gift to you or a curse? Defend your arguments.

Prompt 99: What you know of your family’s history all told, is it a gift to you or a curse? Defend your arguments.

Beyond my Grandparents, I do not know much about my family’s history. Living in my father’s shadow has been a gift and a curse.

My father has been successful throughout his life. He is a highly accomplished athlete and was very successful for over 30 years in finance.

My mother always said that he did everything he could to shield us from competition. It was still difficult growing wanting to be as successful as he was. I wanted to reach the things he did or at least the goals I had set for myself.

My parents have been married for 52 years. I have dreamt almost my entire life of getting married and raising a family with a woman I could be close with. Someone to share ideals, ethics, a mutual physical and emotional relationship.,

I knew from a young age what I wanted to do for a career. My career never materialized. My father wanted me to go into finance like he did. One of my brothers did and is doing very well. I tried but it felt like I did have the right mind for it.

Although my father did what he could to steer us away from certain things, he is also very judgemental. He has certain ideas about how people should live life. He often does not understand people who are not like him.

He is extroverted, assertive and athletic. Anyone that is more introverted, not as athletic and that might struggle with physical or mental impairments he doesn’t seem to relate to.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia at a fairly young age. I learned I had ADHD soon after finishing college and anxiety and depression much later. My father would call me sweetness growing up in a sarcastic nod to my fluctuating moods. My mother would call me a martyr or tell me I was saying woe as me. In actuality, it was me dealing with my depression and anxiety.

Almost everything in life internally has been difficult for me. I have struggled with the issues mentioned above. Those have hindered me in almost every way. I have struggled with work and relationships.

I have held three or four jobs for two years or more since being finished with college. Others ones have often not worked out. Dating is a frequent struggled. My marriage was a constant battle.

Dating is a frequent struggle. My marriage was a constant battle. We dated for two years before getting married. We were married nine and a half years when she filed for divorce. The longest relationship I was in other than with her was two and half months.

Since she filed for separation nearly five years ago the most I have been out with one woman was four times in a three-month span.

My entire family beyond my father and siblings are high achievers. It feels like I have to expend a lot of energy just to get through a day. My sister told me that everyone goes through depression and I just have to get through it.

On the whole, because of my family’s lack of understanding me and their level of achievement versus my lack of it, my family’s history and success are more of a curse than a gift.



Prompt 94: What’s the Most Consequential Act of Your Life? Good or Bad?

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

Being with her gave me “the best day(s) of our life”. The best and some of the worst days of my life were being with her. When we were alone its was usually the best. When everyone else got involved is when things were difficult.

What could have been a very inconsequential act and one that would have very easily been long forgotten is one I will always remember. I sat at the computer with my IM box open. I kept going back and forth in my mind whether or not to send her the message.

I had been online dating for about five years. I had been on AOL in the chat rooms and iming women for about seven. We even used AOL and some of the dating sites to find people for our soccer team.

As I contemplated sending the message, I thought about my past successes and failures. Three of my good friends at the time I had met on AOL. Another friend I had met on a dating site.

We have big decisions throughout our lives. Sometimes a small one can change the course of our lives. I finally sent an IM and we messaged that night. About two weeks later we went out for the first time.

We would date for two years and got engaged on our second anniversary. Less than five months later we got married. We had actually basically been engaged for about five or six months by the time I made it official and put a ring on her finger.

The only people who knew were the temple, my mom, and my aunt. My aunt is a professional wedding planner and planned the wedding, my mom helped me with the ring and we had to reserve a date at the temple.

I often think I married the right person from the wrong family. On our second date, she told me her family was in her words “dysfunction junction”. Little did I know just how dysfunctional they were.

There was a woman I was pursuing for nearly two years when I met her. The other woman came from a much more stable family and I often wonder how much different my life would have been.

When I was dating my ex I was never really sure if she was “the one”. What I did know is that I cared about her more than anyone else I had dated. I had gone out with some women after a few dates and then not pursued things.

While I never wanted to hurt any women, with her it was much different. The thought of hurting her was much greater than it was with anyone else.

Sending that instant message changed my life forever. I sent me on the path or getting married, having children with her, having to deal with a life-altering illness she had and her filing for divorce.

As with most people who have been married and specifically those that have been through illness and or divorce, that consequential act of sending the instant message was both good and bad.

Being with her was everything I dreamed of. Unfortunately, the dream turned into a nightmare she gained custody of our children in spite of not being able to take care of them. It had been two years and I haven’t seen them.

What began with love, promise and hope has turned into devastation, loneliness and often despair. As an I near a milestone birthday I search for new ways to define myself and the newest most consequential act of my life.

Prompt 91: Pick an exotic celebration or holiday from some faraway place, Write about what happens when your family decides to observe that holiday.

Celebrating holidays and special celebrations from other cultures in “faraway” places is something I have done frequently as an adult.

When I met my now ex we did that often while we were dating and before we had children. When the Olympics were in Athens we went to a greek restaurant to watch. Some of the other things we did were making peanut noodles for the Beijing Olympics and celebrating St. Patrick’s day with the requisite Corned Beef and Soda Bread. I don’t like cabbage unless it’s shredded in a salad so we skipped that.

After she filed for divorce I still continued and even expanded on these “celebrations”. Celebrating other cultures and their holidays and celebrating their holidays is a good way for children to learn.

I incorporated as many of the Jewish Holidays as I could. We celebrated T’Bu Shevat and Sukkot at the Botanic Garden, made non-alcoholic mint juleps for the Kentucky Derby, had our own thanksgiving dinner when the kids when my ex would have thanksgiving.

We subsequently would honor many holidays and celebrations. Hanukkah and Fat Tuesday would see Sufganiyot and Paczkis (jelly donuts), when the Olympics were in London we went to Cost Plus and bought some British treats and we celebrated Purim at the temple my family belongs to.

The best way to learn is by traveling. If that’s difficult or impossible then the next best way is to celebrate other cultures and incorporate them into life as much as possible. Being able to celebrate these events from faraway places is something that I have enjoyed doing with my children. I also enjoyed doing them with my ex when we were together.

I am very fortunate that I have been able to celebrate events and holidays from all over the world. There are still many more I would like to learn about and be able to partake in.

I have celebrated Mardi Gras in St. Louis which has the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. I would still like to celebrate that with my children and would also like to take them to the parade in Chinatown for the Chinese New Year and some of the Mexican celebrations as well.

Prompt 90: What is Your Six Word Memoir?

I hope to write a memoir some day and frequently think of what my memoir will be called.

I hope to write a memoir some day and frequently think of what my memoir will be called.

I have come up with a few titles for one. The most prevalent of which would be “paralyzed“. It comes with a few meanings. The most personal is that anxiety has paralyzed me from doing many things.

I have come up with a few multi-word alternative titles for a memoir. The other two most prevalent that I have come up are “On the Outside Looking in” or “Looking for Life”. To come up with a six-word title we would combine the two into “On the Outside Looking for Life” 

Most of my life I have left like I am on the outside looking in. I rarely have felt part of a group. Even in my own family, I feel like the black sheep. I often feel misunderstood and rejected.

All I have ever wanted is to be an important part of a group or to someone. I thought that when I got married that would occur. My wife and I would be each other’s most Six-Word people and create a group in our family that would deeply care about each other and fit together.

It never seemed to happen. No matter how much I begged and pleaded and we discussed in therapy I was never her most important person. When we fought she would constantly say “my family”, “your family” I would respond that I cared most about our family.

I still hope to get married someday and be someone’s most important person and love of their life and they mine. Having my own family on a daily basis and being a raising a child as their primary parent is a dream that was taken from me by the courts.

I am still often Paralyzed by my thoughts, Looking for Life from the Outside In