At 25 years old, I am thinking back on my relationship with my dad. I think back to when I was very young, like four or five years old, when I was a teenager and where I am now. Through the years, although my moods may have changed, one thing has remained consistent … how much I need my Dad.
Barbie doll doctor … check. Swimming teacher … check. Playmate … check. Plumber … check. Wasp-killer … check. Bee-string & splinter extractor … check. Educator … check. Believer … check. Tooth Fairy ... check. Santa Claus ... check. Easter Bunny ... check. Provider … check. Voice of reason … check. Devil’s advocate … check. Counselor … check. Stylist … check. Manager … check. Financial Advisor … check. Personal chef … check. Curfew patrol … check. Bodyguard ... check. Therapist … check. Mechanic … check. Taxi driver … check. Personal Trainer … check. Proof-reader … check. Speech writer … check. Bank lender … check. Landlord … check. Mentor … check. Critic … check. Supporter … check. Hero … check check check.
My dad has always been the light of my life. I’ve always, since I was a kid, tried to do things to make him proud. I, unintentionally, followed his footsteps in so many ways. I was in theatre in high school, just like him ... Got involved with writing and videography, just like him ... Had a passion for weight-lifting and training, just like him … am now an entrepreneur, just like him … and the list continues. There are so many things I did and still do throughout my life with my father subconsciously in mind.
In my adult life and in evolving into my adult life, though, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection. I’ve gone through a lot of trials and tribulations to find the person I have become. In doing so, in finding myself, I have come to the realization that someday, things will be different. I will be a married woman. My goals will shift, my bank account will merge … maybe … and my last name will change … or maybe just be hyphenated … we’ll see. I won’t live under my parents’ roof at all … hopefully … or be on their cell phone plan … bummer. I won’t need money for rent … maybe on occasion … or gas in my tank when I visit. I won’t need help renewing my AAA or claiming my personal taxes … ugh.
But what I will need is reassurance that I am doing good and doing right. I will need approval for the man I choose to marry, the encouragement to continue on my journey towards my goals and will need the support of a leader when times become questionable. I will need a father-in-law to my husband, a grandfather to my children and a partner to my mother so I know how marriage is supposed to be.
Although, my needs will shift, they won’t ever go away. See, that’s the thing about a great father … no matter how old you get or how far away you are, a daughter always needs her daddy.
For me, though, dad, it’s about your strength, wisdom and teachings … your support, encouragement and guidance … your wit and charm and helping-hand ... your consistent teachings in how to set goals, overcome obstacles and adversity, and make a difference in this world.
No matter how dark the times have been, or how far off the path I’ve trailed, you were always there with open arms, a wad of cash and a slice of cheesecake to make it all better. When I came to you at age 16 wanting to break up with a boy because it didn’t feel right, you told me something I won’t ever forget.
I walked into your office and said, “Dad, I don’t want to date him anymore. I just can’t.”
And you said, “You have to do what’s best for you. Follow your gut.”
And when I took this advice, (although, it didn't sink in until much later ... like last year ...) , I realized that in all things and in all decisions I make, I need to follow my gut … and the older I am getting, the more I am realizing the best way to follow my gut is to listen to you … to guide me, teach me and assist me in making the right decisions in my life.
As the years go by and as I grow up, I certainly become wiser. I see all the value in all the things you've taught me and I can’t help but to feel a little bit sorry for not listening to you sooner. Whether it was relationship related, school related, business related—whatever ... you were always right and continue to always be right.
What I’m really trying to say is that I am blessed to be your daughter because in me, there is and always will be a piece of you … A piece that no matter what my last name is, how much money is in my bank account or who my cell phone provider is, will never go away. You’re the best dad anyone could ever ask for because no matter what, you believe in me and are there for me on so many levels. I am so fortunate to have you be such an integral part of everything I’ve become. Thanks for all you did, do and will do in the future. I think it’s time you trade in your many hats for a cape! You deserve it! Happy Father’s Day, Dad!! I love you, 100 100 million!