I recently wrote a something called “My Daughters a Different Type of Perfect” (you can find it on this blog), a bunch of words that talked about my life as the dad to a kid with special needs (a different type of perfect). The story was published on a New Zealand internet news site, then it was published in a New Zealand newspaper and before I knew it the story had been published all over the world and I had gone viral (the good viral not an itchy type on ya “bits’). I received phone calls from radio stations wanting to interview me and everything went crazy. Since then I have had three other pieces released to the public through different media channels these are all in this blog), wow I was just have a moan and it took off.
Write a book people said, a book?. I do not know how to write a book, where to start, where to end and how much about me do I include? Would anyone really want to hear my story before and after I became a dad to a kid with special needs?. It is an interesting story I think, I have had a rather colourful life and I have a fair few good tales to be woven but who cares?. Ok, so plan B write a blog, if people read my stuff awesome and if they don’t then that is ok as well. This blog has no record of who is coming and going, maybe two people are reading this or maybe two zillion wow two zillion is lots). This creates a double edged sword, am I writing and no one cares meaning the blog is doing nothing or is it popular and people are getting some joy from my words?. The fact I do not know is a good and thing but not knowing means it does not matter either way. I would hate to have a garage full of boxes full of books full of my writing that no one bought, this way it does not matter and my ego remains intact.
So what is this blog about. First of all it is about me and my journey that brings me to my current destination, the CEO and Founder of a charity called SmileDial New Zealand Incorporated, a charity that supports Kiwi families raising kids with special needs by providing once in a lifetime opportunities or support that provides a long term benefit to the child or family. That is my elevator pitch, a in a nut shell description of what my charity does. if the building is higher than two floors my elevator pitch gets longer.
This blog will be where I can share my journey being the a parent to a child with special needs, perhaps my honest no bulls**t approach will help others see it is ok to feel the way us parents do. I do not like political correctness, sometimes you just have to say what needs to be said and strip away the sugar coating. I also want to share my journey that lead me here, this position where people turn to me for advise or support. Once you hear more of my journey you will also wonder how I ended up here at this destination when my journey could have lead to many other places. Times in my life where I trod on very thin ice and often by the skin of my teeth I made it through and began the next chapter in my life. The point of this is to show that anybody can do good things to change the world, anybody can no matter who they are or where they came from.
Now don’t get me wrong I have never been proper in trouble with the police naughty, I have never hurt anybody, stolen from someone and generally I have been a pretty stand up guy that would help others. The journey was more of being far from any road that would lead anywhere worthwhile, the times in my life when I floated with no goal (except the next night) and removed myself from normal society for long periods of time, sometimes years. I recently caught up with an old friend from one such stage in my life and he told me most of my friends from then were dead, victims of addictions that inevitably destroyed them. I wonder if it wasn’t for a morning phone call when I rang my mum and asked her to fly me home (after realising I was on a slippery slope) if I would be one of them, most likely I would. I miss these friends, in all of our anti social habits and behaviours they were some of the most caring and beautiful people I have ever met.
I was not a drug addict. I say that after reading the last paragraph and I wanted to be clear until I can explain with more detail later in this blog.
I have played characters all my life, I was Kelly the popular guy at school, Kelly the depressed guy flown to Melbourne to be with family that could (and did) help me, I was Kelly the yuppie suit salesman, Kelly the model, Kelly the bar slut, Stumpy the tourism account manager, Kelly the NZ business development manager for a worldwide brand, Kelly the salesman and now Kelly Boy the CEO of a charity. Somewhere in all these characters I was inside somewhere, the fundamental me was there but often it was more fun to be a character in my own life. I look back and think I was a method actor in my own life. Now I am Kelly Boy and the closest I have ever been to being me, stripping back all the bull shit and leaving just me, I struggle with this guy sometimes.
So this blog will be a journey for me, you are welcome to come along and maybe it will be interesting, maybe funny and sometimes no doubt harrowing. I will pull no punches and not apologise for the content or my terrible spelling, lack of correct grammer and my penchant for using bad language (I believe bad language is ok in context). I sill wonder how much of my story to tell, how will this affect my charity and peoples perceptions of me?. But then again the whole point is to show where I came from, my journey. I can only hope that the stories will be entertaining and if I am to be judged it will be on my merit as a human being that has always strived to be good to others and be a good person myself.
Ok that is the explanation of what this blog is and will be. I hope that who ever (If anyone) who reads this will enjoy it.
This is my Journey and my Destination.
Kelly Patrick Michael Dugan