Over the Christmas holiday I received noticed that I won a scholarship to Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco in February. Now while I should be super excited about this great opportunity, I sadly am having mixed feelings about the situation. I mean, this is a great opportunity for Fandads, but there is something about it that's feels selfish to me.
Let's start at the beginning.
Dad 2.0 Summit is "an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-duality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas."
So what does this mean? It's a chance for me to talk to other dad bloggers about what makes their blogs successful and hopefully start collaborating with them. Also, it will be an opportunity to meet companies that want to work with dad bloggers which could lead to partnerships and maybe some exciting opportunities for us.
When I heard of the first Dad 2.0 in 2013, I thought it would be great to attend. It would be great to meet all the dad bloggers that I have met online and just learn from them firsthand. I wasn't able to attend the summit or any of the previous ones, but told myself that one year I would attend it.
This year, the organizers of the event decided to create a sponsorship to help out dads that want to attend, but financially can not attend. The great thing about the scholarship was that all the money that was donated came from the dad bloggers themselves. This is one way that this group of dad bloggers support each other and another reason why I love being part of this group. The support was so great that enough money was collected to help six fathers win a scholarship to attend Dad 2.0.
The first time the group got together to help one of our own it was to help out Oren Miller, the dad who started the dad bloggers group and we far exceeded the original goal that was set.
So how did I win a scholarship? I had to write a letter stating why I think I should get a scholarship. At first I did not know what to write. I did not want to get too personal in my letter, because I was slightly ashamed of my personal situation. I thought about just writing about the blog and everything that I am hoping to learn from the summit and how I will use that knowledge to improve Fandads, but I felt that did not really tell why I should go.
The day of the deadline, I had still not written my letter. I had until 11pm to write it, but I remember that day we went to run errands and didn't get home until later in the evening. In the back of my head I kept thinking about what I would write about, but I just kept coming up with nothing. I had about five minutes left to write my letter and I was about to just give up. I mean, how could I possibly write something in that amount of time and send it off before the deadline?
I said to myself, just do it because if you don't, you'll always be thinking about what could have happened if you sent it.
So here is my submission letter: (I edited it by correcting the misspellings, remember I typed this out in like ten minutes.)
Why do I want to go to Dad 2.0?
I would like to go to Dad 2.0 because I feel it would be a great way for me to connect with other dads about their blogs and to meet brands that want to work with fathers.
Why do I need the scholarship to help me?
Ever since I did not get renewed to teach this year, things have been a little hectic for me. I spent all summer applying to schools and interviewing at different places and nothing came out of it. I tried applying to be a substitute, but even that process has me jumping through so many hoops that it is discouraging me to continue in the profession that I loved.
You know how you are supposed to have at least 2-3 months of savings to help you out when times are tough, well we have already gone through that. I am behind on my payments that I don't answer my phone anymore and every month we are just making enough to pay rent.
Everyday I am online looking for work or going out and seeing what I can find. I have recently started doing Lyft and I went back to one of my previous jobs, working at a Gamestop, just trying to make ends meet. The Gamestop gig is just 1 or 2 days a week and it really isn't helping out as much.
There are days when I feel like a failure as a dad and husband. I feel like we should not be going through this situation, but I never let my kids see me look depressed or defeated by what's going on. I try to make sure that they have everything that they need: food,clothes, shelter, but sometimes I don't have enough to get them what they need.
I try to keep an upbeat persona online to hide the fact that I am depressed at my current situation, but also so people don't look at me strange or use kid gloves when talking to me. I think the dads in the group are a great bunch of guys and I have seen some of them share their troubles and triumphs and that is what I love about the group. There are sad days when I want to tell people about my situation, but I just end up writing about something that troubles me or write something witty to make others laugh.
While one part of me feels like I deserve to go to Dad 2.0, another part of me feels that it is selfish to go knowing the financial trouble my family is going through. I mean other than the ticket to attend the show, there is lodging cost, food, drinks, souvenirs for the family and many other expenses that I would incur. I mean, do I really have the funds to take this trip? Should I be going to this event?
I guess I leave it up to fate. Right now they have dealt me a pretty crazy hand and it is up to me to make something out of it. It I end up winning, by that I mean finding a good job and getting out of debt, that would be awesome, but if nothing happens from it, it would be a good lesson to my kids to try your best to get yourself in a better place and don't always rely on others to get you out of it, because help might come or it might not. (I just noticed that that is a long sentence.)
If I am chosen to go to Dad 2.0, I would be really appreciative and I would use every minute that I had there effectively and make the most of my time there.
Thank you for your time and thanks for reading,
Victor Aragon Jr.
Luckily some of the other attendees were looking for roommates so that would cut down the cost of the room, but getting the airfare is the only dilemma that I am facing right now. This is where the being selfish part comes in. I already mentioned in my letter that I feel upset about going to this event and using money that could go to our household on this trip. I wanted to try selling shirts to maybe help out with the cost, but there wasn't really that much interest shown.
I'm a little bothered that I am in this position. I have the chance to go to an event that could be life changing and could possibly give the website more exposure, but am faced with the fact that it could not happen. I feel selfish about going on this trip, but shouldn't I at least do one thing for myself every once in a while and when will I get this chance again?
My goal right now is to try to make sure my family is sitting well financially and to go to this event and become a sponge and take in as much as possible.
What will happen between now and February 19? Who knows, but I'm hoping everything will run smooth and that next time I talk about Dad 2.0, I will be talking about the great friendships that I formed there with the other dads and I was glad that I won.
Thanks for reading.