Hi Hi Hi Hi.
I have always had “daddy issues.” My relationship with my father has always been somewhat tumultuous. When I was growing up, he wasn’t around much because he traveled most of the year for work. Even when he was home, it didn’t ever seem like he wanted much to do with me. He would just sit in his chair when he got home from work and watch TV. Every now and then I would hear a laugh or him responding to something on TV, but he never really tried to converse with me. When I was younger, I always thought he just didn’t want to have a relationship with me.
I was extremely envious of my friends’ fathers. I would go over to a friend’s house and their dad would be asking who wanted to go out for ice cream or who wanted to go to the park. My friends’ dads were their softball coaches and their daddy-daughter dance dates. While, mine didn’t seem to even try to speak to me. I always felt like if he really cared he would at least try, and even when he did try, it wasn’t good enough for me. I didn’t understand why he couldn’t be like my friends’ dads. Why he couldn’t seem to care about my life or how things were going with me.
I’ve mentioned this a few times before on my blog, but my family also moved many times when I was growing up. My dad was and always has been very ambitious when it comes to work, and he always seemed to put his work ahead of his relationships with the family. This just gave me more of a reason when I was younger to despise him. I was very shy and developed a lot of social anxiety as a result of moving so much, and being uprooted so much made many things more difficult for me. When I was younger, I didn’t understand all of this. I just felt very alone and depressed. I felt like my dad didn’t care about me or my life and it was very isolating.
Things have changed quite a bit since then. I have matured and as I’ve become an adult I have begun to understand my father quite a bit better. The world does not revolve around me and it never has, so that was the first thing I had to realize. The second thing was that your dreams don’t just go away after you have a family. My dad had huge goals and he wasn’t going to sacrifice those goals because he had a family. Of course, he could have handled things a lot differently and I believe there were other ways he could have achieved those goals, but it is what it is. Things happened the way they did.
Our relationship hasn’t grown much since my childhood. We never talk on the phone or text. I really only talk to him and see him during holidays, but I have grown to respect him much more than I ever have. He is a first generation American and the CEO of a successful company. He has worked tirelessly to get to where he is and I think that is pretty badass. He’s not the easiest guy to talk to and he definitely isn’t warm or open, but he is more approachable to me now than he ever has been.
This past Sunday, he ran his 100th marathon. My sisters, my mom, and I all traveled from our homes to San Antonio to watch him cross the finish line and I don’t think I’ve ever been that proud of him. Except for the time he told me that it was okay that I’m gay and that he loves and accepts me no matter what. I couldn’t contain my pride and respect for him at that moment either. 10 years ago, if you would have told me I would feel this way about him right now, I wouldn’t have believed you. I couldn’t have.
At this moment, I am proud of my dad for many reasons. I have never really thought about being proud of my parents because usually they’re the ones being proud of me. Seeing him cross the finish line at 60 years old and achieving something he has wanted to do for a long time was pretty cool. I wanted everyone (all 20,000 people at the marathon) to know that he was my dad. I’d never felt that way until that moment.
Cheers to progress. Cheers to letting go of years of anger. Cheers to feeling pride and admiration for someone you once felt hatred for. Cheers to being proud. Cheers to Dad.