“I know Dad”

This little phrase is the biggest lie that anyone tells themselves. From what mentors in my life had told me it is a phrase that they loved to utter during their 15 to 22 year old range as well. The thing is we know the words. The words and phrases are familiar but that is the trap of it. We do not know the way behind whatever made us utter this stupid phrase.

When I graduated high school there were quite a few things that I knew but they were, and are, nothing compared to the things that I don’t know. I knew I had to go to class, eat right and maintain my social life. I also said the phrase “I know” to my dad as many times as there are grains of sand on the beach. The thing was that I didn’t know. I thought I did because I knew the words and it was usually a logical sentence but I didn’t comprehend what my dad was saying.

Every time dad said nothing good happens after 3 am and I said “I know.” For my entire life he just told me that and that “people who have been drinking are out driving.” It didn’t really sink in what he had meant until I was about 20 and frequenting the bars in my year off of school. Odds are if you are still up and out at 3 am you are being kicked out of a bar somewhere because they are closing. (This is where the drunk driver warning on the road came from.) There was one time I wake up after having passed out on a park bench in front of the university bell tower around 3:30 because I were too drunk to walk home. As my head was throbbing with it being the coldest part of the night (right before the sun rose) the phrase nothing good happens after 3 am really sank in. It sank in because I finally knew what my dad meant. I had finally connected the dots. Dad wasn’t telling me not to go out and have fun he was telling me to put a cap on it and know my limits and know when it is a decent time to call it a night. I have had great nights where I stayed out until the sun rose and others that were absolutely a nightmare by 10 pm. I have since learned to judge the night and I’m not afraid to do an Irish Goodbye and call it a night if I get the feeling that something is going downhill.

Now every time I want to use the phrase I know I don’t phrase it that way. I phrase it in a way that hopefully furthers the conversation and pulls out the why behind whatever they were saying. It is a lot easier to learn from someone else’s mistakes than it is to experience them for yourself. Let yourself be taught life lessons by people who have more experience in that section of life even though they may be younger than you.


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