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  • Writer's pictureThe Original Folks

EP 14: Dad, you're my hero

Hosts: Jade and Deniece

Guest: Gavin


In this episode, our hosts feature Gavin, who talks about the challenges he faced as a single dad, as well as other struggles he was having at the time which became the inspiration for his post "Starting Over".



Episode Timeline:

[01:20] Our hosts wish fathers a Happy Father’s Day and introduce our guest, Gavin, who is also a father.

[03:40] Gavin describes how parenting has been for him. Every phase has its challenges so parenting is really about adapting to the kid. He believes his role is to guide his child and keep him safe.

[04:56] What is your parenting style? Gavin shares he uses a lax parenting style, giving his child more room. Rather than being restrictive about what his kid wants, he tries to be sensitive to what the kid likes to do and sets the boundaries.

[07:20] Gavin shares a little about himself. He has been in the event planning business for almost 10 years after graduating from college. Following the pandemic, his business was affected and although he has found some balance, he is trying to figure out his next steps. He developed a passion for event planning while in school and was also involved in coaching. Currently, his event company engages in online events.

[12:04] Today's topic is "Starting Over": Deniece was at a low point in her life when she came across a post by Gavin with the title. She was feeling depressed and also had to struggle with work stress so much that she had to leave her job. Seeing the post by Gavin motivated her to talk to him.

[15:40] Gavin shares this story behind his post, "Starting Over", highlighting the marital issues which eventually led to a divorce, the impact of the pandemic on his business and being a single dad. He posted it as a form of expression to get the pent-up tension from his thoughts out. This also was a part of how he processed these issues as they were taking place. The post offered a way to show gratitude; "when the struggle ends, then the gratitude begins". He shares that he is still writing on the topic from time to time, reminding himself to be grateful and to start to approach things from a new mindset.

[22:31] Following his divorce, Gavin shares both he and his ex-wife are in a better place now. Although there was no way to know how things would turn out from the onset, deciding to take a step to change the way things were, was necessary rather than leaving them the same way. This is also one of the benefits of listening to the stories of others, meanwhile, Gavin notes that he tried to find an Asian podcast for single dads to get an Asian perspective but found none.

[28:07] Gavin also talks about the impact of the divorce as it concerns his son. Although his son might be too young to fully understand the state of things, having to adjust to a new lifestyle from the divorce brings up questions from time to time and often vague answers are given based on his level of understanding. "Separation is never good for kids but staying together for the sake of the kid is not healthy"

[31:25] What are the practical struggles of a divorced dad? Gavin describes having to face the reality that he doesn't always have access to his son and finding ways to adapt to it while making the most of the time he can have.

[36:10] Gavin talks about his injury which occurred when he was cycling to keep fit, where he fell consequently dislocating his shoulder and sustaining a severe injury to the joint that later required surgery to repair. Following the surgery, he put on weight which made his effort to keep fit seem pointless. This was another reason he posted "Starting Over". When we get hit with something, life is trying to teach us something about ourselves.

[41:29] Men generally find it difficult to be open about their struggles as the general expectation is for them to keep their feelings locked in. Our hosts encourage men to find ways to express themselves. In Gavin's case, he had to see a counselor and a life coach despite the general stigma associated with seeing these professionals.

[44:18] A life coach is different from a counselor. A counselor helps you look at your past whereas a life coach is more focused on creating ways to move forward.

[46:30] Deniece discloses that she was also raised by a single mom and that it takes courage to come forward and share these stories. "There's no shame in sharing; there's no right or wrong because we all have our own journey"

[50:15] The parable of "Good, Bad, Who is to Say?"; Gavin narrates this parable, and the moral from this story is that "Whatever is happening to you could be happening for you". "Give time to time"

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