True Dad Confessions: On the outside, I'm happy. But on the inside, I'm scared shitless.

I'm about to turn 42 years old in just over a month. I'm in a really good place right now, but I'm also pretty scared, if we're being honest.

Something inside is warning me to prepare myself. Things are going my way, but experience tells me, that won't last forever.

This post is written to dig into those feelings more. What is causing me to worry for no apparent reason? Is this all in my head or am I right to have my guard up?

Things are going my way, but experience tells me, that won't last forever.

I lost my mom to cancer at a young age.

Self-diagnosing here just a bit, but I think this may be one of the main reasons for my anxiety.

I was 15 years old when my mom passed away. An age that's arguably one of the most difficult times for many. I was going through so much change.

And then this.

I used to wear her passing like a badge. "Yeah, I'm flawed. I lost my mom when I was 15." That's probably why. My flaws are not my own; there's an external reason for them.

I have a different perspective now that I've surpassed the age at which she died. Now I feel my own mortality more than ever. I've lived longer than my mom did. That really scares the crap out of me.

I have a son now that is the age I was when my mom passed. I can't imagine him only having one parent. I can't imagine him having to go through that.

Diane K Ruyter
Diane K Ruyter

Dadtography's True Dad Confessions

Sometimes it's best to just get it off your shoulders. That's why we started the "True Dad Confessions" section of

Share your own story or read others' deepest thoughts on topics like love, marriage, life and death, parenting and relationships - and more.

I'm happily married and in love.

JenB and I have been together almost 9 years now. I think we're a great fit for each other, despite being very different in a lot of ways.

I think we complement each other well. I've never been happier in a relationship than I am today.

And that scares the absolute $*&! out of me.

I've been divorced before as well, and I know what it's like to have the feeling that two people fit together and that it was "meant to be".

Relationships take effort, though. You can't just coast through life in a relationship thinking it's always going to be this way. You have to work at it. I think about that every day.

Happy Couple - My Wife and I
Happy Couple - My Wife and I

We just built our first home together.

We just moved into the home we built together. It's our first home purchase as a couple and family. It's been stressful and there's still a lot of work to do, but it's also a great feeling knowing that we're building something that is ours, together.

Oh, and the street we live on? It's "Lovegrass Lane".

It's funny because my early childhood growing up was so idyllic to me. I lived in a small town in the midwest on a street called "Sunny Circle". Nope, I'm not even joking.

Life was perfect on Sunny Circle. Until it wasn't. I remember the moment my parents told me they were splitting. I was standing on the front steps of that home on Sunny Circle. I also remember the moment they told us my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

In those moments, Sunny Circle wasn't quite as sunny any more. I try to appreciate and live more in the moment now, because of those memories and that experience.

I'm a role model to two boys.

Parents are one of (if not THE) biggest influences on a child's life. I have two boys that look to me for guidance.

And that scares the crap out of me.

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was a kid myself? How did this happen that I'm a parent twice over with one child in high school?

It's a little intimidating knowing that my behavior influences and shapes their behavior, and even their personality!

Yeah, that's kind of a lot to take in. Give me just a minute.

...all experts agree that high-quality parenting plays a critical role in the development of a child's personality.


I love my job, team and company.

I've always been a pretty career-focused and professionally motivated person. I've been in my professional career now for almost 20 years.

I've made a few mistakes along the way and had a few setbacks, but overall I've been very fortunate for the opportunities I've been given and I've earned.

I'm in a place right now where I feel challenged, supported, fulfilled and proud, and I really can't wait to see what's next.

Sunrays Through the Glass at Orlando Health
Sunrays Through the Glass at Orlando Health

I don't think I'm a worrier by nature. I don't sit around and dwell on these things. But there is something in the back of my mind that is trying to guard against losing what I've got right now.

There's something in my mind that has me on high alert. But a heightened sense of alert can't be maintained. I will burn out. I have to relax, eventually.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever been cruising along in life when it struck you?

Not only have I learned to realize both the good and bad times come and go, but I've also learned to appreciate more of the moment. I have to live more in the "now". If I don't - if I dwell too much on the "what if", it may just turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, and oh the irony of those.

Not on my watch.

What do you think - do I just worry too much? Are you in a good place and worried that will change, too? I'd love to hear your comments below!

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