I was going to rerun a couple more posts from the early days of SDL, but I think I’m just going to write this and then take tomorrow off instead. Pardon my rant and a few curse words today. I’m just in one of those moods.
But it’s time I take my blog back. It’s time I take my life back.
2013 is going to be a new year for me in every sense of the word.
When I started this blog, I did so from a place of brokenness, literally days after I split with wife #2. I wanted to laugh again because life freaking sucked for me. I also was a single dad. Again. Thus the name Single Dad Laughing.
Let me start today’s discussion by saying I have always had a kind heart. Before starting this blog, I have always felt the injustices in society around me. I have always crusaded for people to love others without judgment and for people to stop being so dang hard on themselves. One time I got released from a church assignment because I told the other men that it was okay that they couldn’t do it all. I’ve raised money many times in my life as a businessman for people in need. I used to go with my wife and take plates of cookies with five hundred bucks taped to the top and drop them at the doors of people I didn’t know because my gut told me they needed it. I’ve raised money to completely pay for funerals of children. I’ve donated more than sixty thousand dollars to charity over the years. Hell, in high school I co-started a humor-based club where other teenage boys could admit that they masturbated without judgment. Simply because I knew how worthless I felt as a teenager that I couldn’t live up to the church’s demands to never ever ever touch myself, and I knew that many others felt worthless as well. I have paid for several struggling mothers’ groceries. I have always tried to look after my neighbors. I have helped them install sprinklers and build fences. I have walked through the homeless district handing out hundreds and hundreds of dollars of Walmart gift cards. Multiple times. I have given my employees huge gifts and bonuses for no other reason but that I was thankful for them. I made sure my employees had good benefits even though my company at the time was so small. I’ve given family members money when they needed it. I have given friends money when they needed it. I have given money to almost every bum I have ever come across. I have volunteered at hospitals. And schools. And community events. And the Special Olympics. And never once did I expect anything in return. All of that was before the blog, and most of it I’ve done after, as well.
Get off your high horse Dan, I’m sure you’re thinking.
Believe me. I don’t share all this to make you think I’m awesome. I really dislike typing it. In fact, the vast majority of this almost no person knew before today. I’m a fan of doing things as quietly and discreetly as possible. I’m a fan of anonymous giving. I’m a fan of unrequited service.
No, I don’t want you to think I’m awesome for this. I’m not awesome for this. I’m a human being and I simply try to do what feels right to me in the moment. I don’t look at what I’ve done for others and think I’m great. I look at it and wonder if I’m doing enough. I look at it and assume everyone else is doing so much more.
Sometimes I’m a real shitty human being. Sometimes I make big mistakes. I’ve treated people as less than human. I’ve been horrible to customer service people. I’ve yelled at people for things that weren’t their fault. I’ve flipped people off or yelled at them in traffic. I’ve purposefully made sure people couldn’t get in my lane. I’ve dented someone’s car door with my own and quickly drove away. I’ve not returned something to the store that I realized I didn’t pay for; more than once. I’ve said things to purposefully hurt those I love. I’ve lashed out when I feared the worst. I’ve hit a dog out of anger. I’ve hit a wall out of anger. I’ve had sex with someone I never wanted to see again. I’ve kept things I’ve found without trying to find their owners. I’ve blown money on ridiculous splurges. I’ve purposefully driven wedges into the relationship of a woman I wanted to be with. The list could go on.
And I share all this, the good and the bad, for one reason only.
Dan I love your unique sense of humor. Thank you for sharing your writing talent with all of us!
I'm a new subscriber and am really enjoying pouring through your past posts :).
This is my very first visit to your blog. I came for the designer jeans post, because my sister is always quoting you and telling everyone how they need expensive jeans. She says you say it better than she ever could. I instantly felt connected to you when you said that life had taken all your self esteem. YES! Mine too! Then you hooked me a bit more with the blender issue! We just bought a blendtec that we probably couldn't afford because we NEEDED a decent blender! But what really stuck with me was this post. About how we're all human. I've done all those things you mentioned. Not taken back the coke on the bottom of the cart that the cashier didn't ring up because my kids were screaming in the parking lot. Dinged a car and not reported it. Said many, many things out of anger....sadly, to my kids whom I love. Okay, well, I've never had sex with a woman I never wanted to see again, but mostly, I can totally relate. I love that you've taken your blog back, and your life back, and you've inspired me to try and do the same. Maybe not all today, but little by little. I'm deleting people that I don't actually like to hear from on Facebook. No more mean, fake friends! Keep up the good work, and keep your chin up.
Get rid of all the negative!! I love your blog and everything you stand for. As for the tighy whities, can you at least wear boxer briefs? :D
Dan, You are an inspiration and encouragement to single parents everywhere. Shame on the extremists! For the record, I am a single mom of 8 who used to be married to a pastor. I have been deep in so called Christianity by man's terms. I want you to know, personally from me, that my faith in Jesus Christ is the single most important relationship in my life. Given that, you might think I fit in the category of your critics. I don't. I love your blog, I respect your viewpoints and preferences, and I hold no judgment toward you. I have several friends who are not straight, are single, and who laugh at life when no one else will. My answer to the church, or extremists, who want to bully and judge is that when Paul talked about homosexuality in the book of Romans, he also mentions disobedient to parents, gossips, arrogant and boastful. Seems to me all humanity falls into this passage. Let he who has no sin cast the first stone....oh, wait, that's Jesus, and he chose to die for us instead. How lovely. Let's all be more like Jesus. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life. Welcome back.
I started subscribing to your blog after viewing a video of all the useless crap you were given. I thought you were hilarious. I started reading your blog from there, and I love every post I've read. It takes a lot to be able to share deeply and laugh easily in real life, let alone sharing all of that with the world online knowing the criticism that can spout from the simplest, most well-meaning thing. Extremists have a way of trying to drag everyone else down. Generally because they are unhappy about something in their own lives, so they have to make everyone else's h-e-double hockey sticks..
Thank you for taking your blog back. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for providing your life lessons for us to laugh with you, and giving us the opportunity to see that a) life is not perfect and b) everyone is dealing with something.
Just as you said, you're human. Over the past couple of years, I have laughed with you and cried with you on this blog. In my own life, I have also been both laughing and crying. Not all of my laughter has been genuine, neither has each tear that's fallen been more than skin-deep. Sometimes we say things and do things that we don't mean 100% out of fear. Of course it's unfortunate that you tiptoed around extremists. It's unfortunate whenever anyone isn't true to who they are or what they feel, but WE ALL DO IT. I'm glad that you're happier now. I'm glad that you are striving to be more true to who you are. Go Dan! Lemme tell ya, I could really use a laugh, and I have utmost faith that you will be able to provide that for me, because you have before! Peace and blessin's to you and your fantastic Noah. While the haters all be hatin', we creators keep creatin'.
A dear friend of mine pointed me to your blog shortly after your coming out post, linking me to the mentioned post. I have to say that I admire your courage and your bravery. I too have dealt with my own sexuality for nearly 2 decades myself, and you have truly inspired me. Always be your self is what I have learned through reading your blog the past month. You don't know me, but I feel I've come to know you very well and I am excited to live your journey through your blog. Thank you.
I joined your blog only a few months ago but no post I've ever seen has made me regret doing that. This post only adds to that because you never cease to remind me how real of a person you truly are. I hope this doesn't sound rude but it's nice to be reminded there are other people out there who are fighting battles as well. Knowing from personal experience, sometimes life gets to be so much that you feel you're the only one struggling while everyone else is doing well. It's nice to come on here and read every day stories about a guy with a great heart and true experience. You inspire me to be myself more and not feel ashamed for anything I believe or feel. So, thank you, Dan because your blog inspires me to be a better me <3
I'm not sure if I should be responding yet b/c I'm still digesting this, but this is pretty much the only time I will have, so:
1. I've been here almost since the beginning of your blog (about 1-2 months in), and I've read all of it. I have enjoyed pretty much everything you've written. I'm here because I think you're awesome. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination- but awesome!
2. I'm so happy you're committed to and excited about being yourself!
3. I also feel lied to, wondering if you really believed the things you wrote or were just pandering to your readers.
4. I'm also re-evaluating emails I've sent you. I never got anything other than a positive response from you (or, once, no response), but now I'm left wondering whether you meant what you said or withheld what you really thought/the real impact. I told you of my health and financial struggles, and that I was still donating to you; I didn't tell you so for any thanks or to make you feel you had to keep writing a certain way, but because I knew you were awesome and felt you needed to hear someone thought that and believed in you. I now wonder if this came across as trying to make you be "deep". If so, that certainly was never my intention, and I apologize.
5. I'm very glad you're laughing again. :)
Wow, way to go , Dan! Congrats on taking your life back, and thanks also for sharing your struggles with us.
I don't always post to your forum but this post truly makes it ok to be who you want to be and when you want to be. This makes me want to write again on my blog and bring the funny back.. too much seriousness makes me a dull girl. Take care Dan!! Keep laughing and Keep blogging!
You are so flippin awesome. Definitely one of my top 10 people I would love to meet!
Keep up the laughter and the posts as you see fit....and I will keep reading. I think that makes for a pretty awesome deal, huh?
Negative people just bring you down...and I really really feel sorry for them! Instead of just breezing them off, think about how they got to the ugly place they are in life. Wow that must suck for them! After I had only read a couple of your blog entries I knew things were changing for you...thanks for getting back to laughing more (: Cannot WAIT for that tighty whitie pic...
While I definitely prefer your deep posts, it's your blog, and I'm glad you're taking it back. I guess I could use a good laugh.
No one agrees all the time, and that is not going to be any different between your readers and the things you write. That doesn't mean that we have any right being hateful to you. Civil discussion and debate are completely different from spewing spiteful things without having any convincing argument behind it. I think you have done the right thing here. Don't apologize to the few when the many are more than happy with who you are as a whole.
I'm glad you found the block, delete, and hide button. You need to keep the nastiness away and the positive going.
2013 is going to be great. I can't wait to see what it has in store for us. You and your readers.
There have been things you have written here that I disagree with.There have been things written here I agree with.I keep reading because you have hit on topics I have dealt with, or more often needed to deal with in my own life or heart.All of these things were when you were being truly and brutally honest about yourself or your life.Please write from your heart.I may be an extremist in the fact that I am christian an in my view there are certain limiting factors.However the least limiting factor is that God loves us each one.If God puts up with me, don't think for a moment I will condemn anyone and your humor and quirkiness certainly makes painful questions easier to handle
I like mushrooms in my gravy, but I will leave them out and simply add them to my own plate!
Thank you for being you.
I only recently started following your blog and I LOVE it! I'm glad you don't want to be a homogenized version of yourself in your blog. I don't think anyone should be homogenized. It's sooooo very uninteresting. Let's all be genuinely and authentically ourselves and celebrate that diversity. It makes life an adventure.
And I'm looking forward to sharing your adventure this year!
You're so awesome, you have no idea :D You have lots of people that like honest, laughing, usually-nice-but-sometimes-not-nice-Dan! That's all of us. Blog on, my friend.
Welcome back Dan! We're still right here with you and very excited about what the new year will bring for SDL!
OK... #1) What is an IP address? #2) I am so happy there is the mixture of laughing when you want or crying when you want, I actual thought your blog was kinda that way already and is why I love it! #3) PLEASE!!!! No pictures of tightie whities! Not that I would unsubscribe or anything drastic like that, but there is only so much laughter I can take! (If you get my drift.) ;)
Yay! to being you! It's the best thing you can be. :) And I will happily take all of your mushrooms. Could I interest you in some cooked carrots?
I cannot wait to see what the new year brings Dan. I have been quietly following you for many moons, and I am overjoyed to see the change in tone.
Bashers will bash, haters gonna hate. The only people we need to work hard to please is ourselves; the worthwhile among us will fall in place by our sides. I've been reading for a while but rarely comment as I struggle with my own battle...I am inspired by your honesty both to yourself and your readers. Do what is necessary to make your life your own, Dan...I will be doing similarly.
Thank you for the inspiration.
You rock! This is the last push I needed to do the same with my life and blog. No more pandering. Be you, the true you!
Oh people can be ridiculous!! Live free.. just be.. yourself. That's my motto. Anyone who doesn't like me, or you, can find their own exit. No one is being forced to read your blog. And I look forward to the humor. I often find myself laughing ridiculously at your posts. Keep it up, Dan.. It's your life after all. :)
My goodness, it's a BLOG! I don't know why people would spend their time finding nasty things to say about it. I read it for entertainment and enjoyment. If people aren't finding those emotions when they read it, then, like you said, by all means they can unsubscribe! But find something better to do than bullying people online!
Still laughing and crying and taking back SDL right along side you! (Except for the mushroom-gravy comment. I can't stand with you on that one.) :p Welcome home, Dan! Thanks for letting us in. :)
I am so excited for you Dan!!! Letting go of all the stress and heartache that comes from allowing others to dictate your feelings and actions will be a serious game changer.. I can't wait to see where this year leads!! Happy New Year :-)
Dan - You ARE freaking awesome! Don't ever forget it. Of course you do crappy things but you do fantastic things as well - you like the rest of us are human. I found your blog a few months ago and I am glad I did. I've got a lot of hard crap in my life right now and I get on the internet to be distracted from it. To put it down for a little while and find some relief. I enjoy your deeper posts - after all it does help to know we aren't alone in our struggles. But if we focus on them, as you have found, they multiply instead of getting better. So please, laugh! Make us laugh - we all need it.
I am also a single parent, through divorce, and I'm mired in the custody battle and getting my feet under me and finding the best way to provide for my son. Your blog has helped keep me laughing when I'm tired and down with the winter and I can't watch another Thomas the train episode blues, or the desperation that accompanies a 40 minute toddler fit. Your writing has also given me a chance to sit back and think on things I might otherwise have missed out on. I thank you, and I wish you as much luck and joy in the new year as the world has to give!
So, I've decided that I both took this too personally and that I think too much. :P
Have fun, be happy. :)