Ah, facebook. On my personal blog, I’ve posted about my love/hate relationship with the social networking site (what the hell does ‘social networking’ even mean?). For example, this.
Recently, an old friend of mine from high school invited my wife and I to a Facebook event. Our friend is a photographer – a pretty good photographer – and his work was being featured at a gallery downtown. We were invited and figured Pea would be a-ok for the evening with family.
Besides, this was a Facebook invite. One cannot ignore a Facebook invite.
What? You can, indeed, literally ignore a Facebook invite? No way, really?
Good to know. Moving on.
We arrived at the gallery and immediately met up with some other friends from high school. Our friend the photographer met us at the door with the kind of appreciation usually only seen from guests on the Oprah Winfrey show… you know, when they do the not-so-unexpected reveal of what the studio audience has won for attending the taping and everyone freaks out.
Ok, that’s a pretty dramatic embellishment of his reaction. Let’s just say our friend seemed extremely happy that people cared enough about his work to attend the show and his appreciation was apparent.
Truth be told, I love attending his shows. For one, I think his photography is incredible. His images are visually stunning and often politically charged, which is a great combination in my book. He uses Photoshop to make the colours pop and I love the social contrasts that come as a result.
But, I will admit something now that I haven’t said out loud before. A big part of my interest is in his lifestyle as much as his photography.
As I type this, my friend is taking photos in Barcelona, Spain. He’s lived in various South American and European locations – usually where the sun doesn’t fear the day – and seems to lead an extremely creative and carefree existence.
His evenings are spent on beaches. He doesn’t need to worry about catching a train in the morning. He gets to experience the wonders of cultures that I ony see courtesy of Rick Steeves.
As I consider what his life is like, I must also consider what his level of freedom would entail for me personally. I could do without the mortgage, the hour-long commute and the 6am alarm.
But, under no circumstances, could I do without Pea. There is no beach in the world that is as entertaining as watching her chase bubbles. There is no bottle of beer in the world as wonderful as having her shove a piece of cheese in my mouth. There is nothing more creative and fulfilling as being a father.
Fromage, I know. But it’s the absolute truth.
Sure, being a parent requires a great deal of sacrifice… I don’t know that it’s more, or less, than I expected before Pea was born, but there is nevertheless a great deal that I used to be able to do that is no longer possible. At least, it’s not as simple as it used to be.
But being a Dad is better. Hands down. Better.
So, I remain happy to attend his shows and admire his photos. From afar. I’m good where I’m at.