Mike Dariano


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This is a very rough draft of an essay for an upcoming book. Enjoy.

When I was in high school computers were becoming ubiquitous. Libraries, schools, and homes all began having them and I was just young enough and just savy enough to be seen as some sort of computer wizard. As such a wizard I needed to help a great many plebs with their computer trouble. The trouble was that I didn't really know much. I knew the acronyms and what they stood for; RAM, CPU, MB, GB, but how they interrelate I hadn't much of a clue. If I was tasked to make clothes instead of fixing computers I would be cutting out sleeves of different length, using fabrics that didn't match and sewing with all the wrong stitches. But I fixed a lot of computers.

The secret to fixing them was figuring out how to reset something. Most often this meant holding the power button until it shut down, waiting a minute, then turning the device back on. I still don't know exactly how this works. My guess is that some bit of code got stuck and a reset stops it. The beautiful thing was that this worked for nearly any program for nearly any problem at nearly any moment. It was like duck tape for fixing computers. I felt like someone cheating the system because I was solving problems without actually knowing how. What I didn't know was how helpful this would be when it came to being an adult.

As an adult people expect you to be right. It's really hard to say 'I was wrong' as an adult because there is an expectation that now we know things. It's even worse when you begin to lose your head as a parent. You and I? We are supposed to be the mature ones but when little Johnny begins coloring the walls or making holes in things we lose our shit. We yell and screech like they've failed to push the button in the television show Lost. We get so angry at our kids and the anger builds.

My daughters and I were building a block tower one day when I was letting the anger build and I realized the tower was a great metaphor for how I was feeling. I was letting blocks of anger stack up and when they fell down it was going to be epic. Then I realized the power of a reset.

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