First off, let me apologize for my absence the past 2 weeks. In failing to bring you a new episode, I spent a bit of time reflecting on a few things. I’ve looked at my life and where I am versus where I’ve come from. Everything from the physical and material things that I had possessed to the things that I’ve acquired today. The change in interests that I’ve lost and gained over the past, let’s say 10 years. It wasn’t until I saw someone ask a question on Facebook, “who’s going to their high school reunion” that I began my reflection. It had hit me right at that moment, holy fuck it’s been 10 years already? Where the hell have I been? Suddenly 10 years had flashed before my eyes. As if images were being projected from my eye balls in front of my face like a hologram. I saw the houses I used to live in ranging from Van Nuys to Reseda to Northridge. All the cars I had, the Altima, the Accord, or (my absolute favorite) the Integra. The things I used to do for fun, the thoughts and doubts I had about myself, even past relationships with family and friends some I’ve lost and some I’ve gained. It all played like a short flashback scene.
My connection with my father over the past 10 years has been a bit of a rollercoaster to say the least. Actually throughout my life for that matter. He was always in and out of our lives and usually the times he was in he brought a toxic and negative energy with him. I’ve gone from anxiety attacks whenever he came around and eye rolls whenever I saw his name come up on the caller ID, dragging my feet to pick him up from a random ass location just to drop him somewhere just as equally as random if not bizarre and far, loaning him money or lying about not having money to loan him in order to avoid the frustration of not being paid back, to cutting communication with him all together. Once upon a time that would’ve been difficult to do without upsetting too many people in my family. A few of them can sometimes share the same theory that family should always be there for each other no matter what. To an extent I agree. I would do anything for my family and have. However, I don’t agree with sometimes sweeping things under the rug and continuing to help someone out with no acknowledgement or reprecussions of that persons action as a meaning of the word “family”. So when I finally decided that I wanted a well deserved break from my father I kindly and calmly told my family that I wouldn’t be participating in anything regarding him. If there was a family function that was going on and there was a chance he would be there I would respectfully and most likely not attend. Never did I encourage any of them to join me on my boat to elsewhere nor did I speak ill of him or even persuade any of them to see my side. I just simply was done. Most of them respected that. Never did I say that I would never speak to him again either. I clearly said, “break”. A time-out. A pause in the program, I’ll be back after a word from our sponsor. After a year and a half, he had made his way back around again and hadn’t yet met my daughter who was already a year old. I was in a different stage in my life and was ready to let go of a few bags. So I decided to go on over and see the old man. An old man he definitely had become. I could see the difference in his face from the last time I had seen him. His years of mistreating his health had taken it’s toll and I saw a change in him. I saw a small glimmer of humility and appreciation for being allowed to meet his grandchild in person instead of through photos passed on by other family members. Until recently we wouldn’t speak to eachother every often or at all. I would continue to screen his calls and ignore text messages.
One day after struggling to find something to write about I reread a piece that I had written about him 6 years ago before the falling out and way before I had a child. It was just about how I saw him for who he was flaws and all at that time. Acknowledgements to why and how he is the way he is. Again another moment in reflection. Ironically though, after I read the piece my phone rings and it’s his name that appears on my screen. At first I thought to ignore it in fear of being asked for money, but then I thought just see what he wants. So I answered and said hello and we managed to speak for just over 45 minutes, the longest we’ve ever spoken over the phone or even in person in years. Nothing negative was said, no asking for money, just simple catch-up. We even managed to talk shit about a few people and share a giggle here and there. I realized that the thing that I had learned and gained in going through that period in my life is forgiveness. I had finally forgiven him without noticing when I decided to answer his calls and allow him a window into my new life. I had also forgiven myself for the years I spent feeling sorry for myself and beating myself over the head to try and be better than him. I realized that I wasn’t living for me. Speaking from experience it feels great to let go of a bag that is no longer of use. We all have baggage and some are necessary and most aren’t, we just have to decide which ones we want to keep and which ones we can leave at the lost and found. Now there’s plenty I could say in regards to my father but that would defeat the meaning of forgiveness. Forgive but don’t forget, so that you can eliminate the things that have been forgiven from happening again. With that being said, those of you who struggle with this issue, I hope that in your pursuit of happiness you are able to let go of that bag that’s weighing you down and are able to walk, run or swim that much faster.
Until next time weirdos….Peace