Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

If you should someday stumble upon my blog, here is a letter I wrote you a year ago. It seems to resonate still today, as we are surviving this trying time together... Please read on when you have a moment to yourself.

Last weekend you said something that hit very close to home for me. And I regret missing the opportunity to tell you that.
I don’t want to go through life knowing that you have no idea who I am. So, in an effort to avoid the Sunday morning teary-eyed conversation with my kids about how grandma and grandpa have no idea who I am, I am making a list for you.

I am a believer. I believe in love and good intentions.
I am a dreamer. My dreams are boundless and possible. I am someone who makes my dreams come true.
I am a romantic.
I am calculated.
I am passionate.
I am ambitious.
I am compassionate.
I am in love.
I am a child at heart, not in mind.
I am a deep thinker.
I am a philosopher.
I am an observer.
I am stubborn.
I am passive aggressive.
I am a writer.
I am a public speaker.
I am emotional.
I am sentimental.
I am sensitive to others.
I am a true friend.
I am committed.
I am faithful.
I am tired.
I am missing the support.
I am hurting.
I am angry at the world.
I am proud of my family for trying to overcome their instincts to reject me for being different.
I am angry at my family for making me feel like they’re rejecting me and my partner as a unit.
I am hurting because I feel like my family wants to sweep me under a rug and hide me.
I am angry that my family is turning a blind eye to the happiest part of my life, the most fulfilling part that I’ve been dying to share with them.
I am disappointed that the world cares so much about interfering in my pursuit of happiness.
I am so much more disappointed that my culture/community is so consumed with disrupting my happiness because it doesn’t fit their mold.
I am sad that the role I’ve played to fit in has so deeply hidden the person I am.
I am lucky. I am lucky to love and lucky to be loved, unconventional as it may be.
I am loved by a sensitive, kind, gentle, giving, committed, loyal, and loving person.
I am not alone in the world, though sometimes it might feel like I am.
I am part of a whole couple.
I am respected by my peers.
I am admired for being true to myself.
I am revered for sticking to my principles: every action I take is out of love and kindness.
I am a believer in the fact that I only have one chance to live and that I’d better make the most of it before my short time runs out.
I am a leader. I can make people dream with me.
I am sad that I haven’t been able to make my family dream with me.
I am excited to know that I found someone who wants to dream with me every day for the rest of our lives.
I am reassured to know that I found someone who will take care of me when I am old and gray because they want to.
I am thankful to have found someone who respects my principles, my family, my goals, and my ambitions.
I am grateful to have a partner in life who pushes me to follow through on my goals till I have accomplished them.
I am appreciative of the fact that my partner encourages me to have faith in my family, no matter how angry I get.
I am glad to have a partner with good morals.
I am aware of the challenges that I have faced and the challenges I am willing to continue facing.
I am not oblivious to the fact that my partner’s family is no basket of fruits, to say the least.
I am confident that we can endure victoriously and overcome all the obstacles put in the path of our love.
I am in the process of figuring out how to fight a bully.
I am welcoming allies and recruits for the defense I am building against that bully.
I am building an army of courage inside of me to demand of the world the most ridiculous thing: the right to my happiness, as if it’s the world’s to give.
I am someone who makes my own happiness.
I am not an activist.
I am someone who makes lemonade out of lemons; damn good lemonade too.
I am not a thief.
I am not an extortionist.
I am not a cheater.
I am not promiscuous.
I am not confused.
I am not rushing into things.
I am not stupid or naïve.
I am not unreasonable.
I am not possessive.
I am not manipulative.
I am not trying to rush you.
I am impatient.
I am nervous about how you are feeling.
I am worried about you.
I am worried about you and me.
I am NOT selfish.
I am certain.
I am the owner of a huge ego.
I am humbled, nonetheless.
I am a person who builds lasting relationships. And I want to build a lasting relationship with my family; all I need is a little reassurance that I am not alone in this desire.
I am desperately wanting to share my life with my family.
I am in admiration of my father, the role model who has taught me to fight for what I believe in.
I am eager to keep my sister close to me; she’s all I’ve got in this life.
I am someone who always wanted to have a close bond with my mother.
I am working on building bonds.
I am educated; I know too much.
I am wise; life has made me this way despite my age.
I am a trooper; I have endured a lot of pain.
I am independent; I have bared my own cross.
I am a sister; I give rides to parties and school; I waste my day hanging out at the back of the same restaurant to make sure she’s safe; I take her to movies; I worry every second that she’s not holding my hand; I am proud of her.
I am a daughter; I have worn the dresses, grown my hair long, gotten good grades, been on TV, written a play, spoken at funerals, graduated early, gotten a prestigious job; I have understood my parents; I have never blamed my parents for anything; I have come home every night, called every day, and kept my paranoid mother in touch so she worries a second less; I have not done drugs; I did not come home pregnant and bare-footed; I did not sleep around; I remembered every birthday, holiday, and anniversary, not because I was obligated but because I love you; I kept the messiness of the truth away to spare you; and because I love you so much, now that I’ve found the person that matters, now that we’re getting ready to settle down, I want you to be a part of that.
I am going to make this work, with or without your support, because I have dreamt that I can, because I want to, and because I know I will be able to. I would just rather do it with you by my side, but that’s your choice to make.
I am asking my father to support me, please.
I am begging for tolerance, hoping for acceptance, and dreaming of some embrace.
I am praying my father will give my partner another chance, a chance worthy of more than just an awkward, fleeting handshake.
I am hoping that my father will show me I’m not alone in the world.
I am asking that despite all the pressures of the rest of the world – that world which could care less about when your back hurts, when you’re stressed at work, when you’re unfulfilled at work, when you’re emotionally lacking – that my daddy will help me now that I’m asking him to, because it hurts me when his back hurts, because I stress with him when he’s stressing, because I want to help him find self-fulfillment when he’s seeking it, because I want to love him when he’s lacking love, because I love him.


If ever there were anyone who would love you the most, it’s me. I know I’ve done a lousy job of showing it to you, especially in the last few years, but you have been my example, my role model, and my mentor. Everything I know and believe about decency, kindness, and love, I learned from you. And I would hope that at this time in my life, when I try to reach out to you for closeness, that you can look at me (although with some pain in your heart) and still be proud to see that while somewhat unconventional and challenging of the way the world is, I am decent, I am loving, and I am kind. And even if you never accept me for the choices I’ve made, I will always adore you for making me the wonderful person I know I am. I can never thank you enough for doing all the right things and instilling within me the values of family, responsibility, and love that guide me. As hard as this is, I know that someday you’ll stop hating me for the choices I made to be happy. I know this because we’re so alike. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you to be the ideal dad. But honestly, it’s just that… that’s how highly I think of you. I never thought you were any less and it made me so angry when I saw you talk and act like you might not be the dad I know and need. And I should have never asked you to be something you’re not. But I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to ask. I need you to know that you are a phenomenal man, the best man I will ever know, and that I will love you, whether from a distance or close by, forever!

No matter what you decide, I’ll die believing you wanted to pick me over society… so no matter what you decide, please don’t crush that belief; please.>>



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