Almost A Father: Finding Your Own Voice

I started this blog a little over 4 years ago to advocate for infertility and sell a book about the male perspective on the whole experience.

I have used words here to fight off absurd bills that would limit access to infertility coverage for couples by adding extra steps infertility doctors have to take for keeping records of their patients creation of embryos, lobbied in DC for wounded veterans to have access to family building options, and been an ambassador for causes related to improving assisted reproduction.

After gaining some ground, being published and interviewed by national sites like the Huffington Post and the ABC News, in June of 2015, I promptly disappeared.

I was on the road to what I thought was a career in advocacy and perhaps lobbying, but all of the sudden I didn’t know why I was writing.  Or who I was writing for.

So I stopped writing altogether.

I became the guy I never thought I’d be—the one who works a job that for the most part provides well, but in an industry that has lost its way. I have stayed in the mortgage business because…well it’s hard to make the commitment to pursue your passion as a living, when you’ve managed to make a good living at something else.

It’s easier to pursue a passion as a hobby…but then there’s that voice that tells you you’re full of shit. That you will never realize your full potential until you take the bull by the horn and believe and lead your family to their full potential by taking action on your faith and pursuing your own full potential.

I guess I stopped believing in the underdog.  Stopped believing that I could be a modern day David and face up to my own self-imposed Goliaths.

Then a couple of strange things happened. A bombastic blowhard billionaire became the President of the United States.  Love him or hate him, he won against all odds, with every seeming force against him.

A voice started whispering that topics I had avoided discussing—things about faith or anything even remotely conservative—were not off limits anymore.  I realized I had allowed my own beliefs to be bullied by a new intolerant brand of political correctness.

The second thing that happened was my 14 year-old daughter began writing music.  As I help her navigate finding her own voice with her lyrics and grow her following with a look inside her world, I realize that I love giving a voice to things I believe in.   I also love to help people find a voice for things that they believe in.

Whether it’s sustainable housing, infertility, songwriting, faith based values, or even speaking to the benefits of being a part of a business community building networking group, there is power in words.

I also find there is a movement to misconstrue words spoken by a large part of this country, and a smear campaign that seeks to demonize the motivations for why people of faith believe what they do.

I worry that the Republican party will do what the Democratic party did after President Obama was elected—take their own agenda too far, and ignore the voices of a huge population of America.  Or worse yet—shame them into silent submission.

There is an opportunity for new voices of reason to rise above all the politically and media oppressive narrative. The same “shy voters” that stunned the world by electing Donald Trump now need a platform to continue to have their voices heard, and to hold President Trump accountable for the promises he made during his campaign.

Those voices also must hold the media accountable for the way they frame their stories, and continue to call out obvious bias in reporting.  They must suppress the desire to lower themselves to the levels that many reporters have sunk to by labeling opponents with incendiary terms designed to foster social media rants, rather than foster a middle ground of understanding, and acceptance that it’s okay to have differing opinions.

That’s what I will do with Almost a Father: Finding your own voice.  I owe it to my daughter to hear my voice, in the hope it will help her develop her own, and discourage her from even feeling bullied into silence by any ideology.

This will be a collaborative effort.  I will be seeking out like and fair minded feedback based on life experiences—not on the regurgitation of things written by other media outlets.

This world needs more unique voices.  Even in the middle of some of the most hateful rants, I see threads of humanity when these passionate individuals begin to reveal the why for their beliefs.

The most extreme positions always seem in some way to be motivated by the most extreme personal experiences.  Beneath the Facebook bravado of clever cursing putdowns and memes, there is a vulnerability that shows up if one is patient enough to watch for it, and at least makes an effort to tone down the language toward the end of a posting battle, in an effort to ‘respectfully agree to disagree.’

I also love hearing people’s stories.  I am so tired of what the media, movies and news think we want to hear. There are too many beautiful moments that are never shared because there is no platform for their beauty to be revealed.

I want Almost a Father to be that platform.  I want to offer stories that are told about the things that matter to my friends, family and even enemies–if they can be told in a way that uplifts, informs, educates or inspires, with an individual voice that speaks to the soul of that person’s passion.

Maybe together we can come up with a way to heal the insane divide in this country, and hear some great life stories in the process.  I hope you’ll join me. I can’t wait to hear your voice.

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