I realize this blog was created mostly for fitness and healthy lifestyles. Part of a healthy lifestyle is not only your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health. Another purpose of this blog was to INSPIRE you to make moves, take chances, and change situations so you can live a better life...To improve yourself and feel empowered. So as 2011 comes to a close and we look to start a new year, and a fresh start I felt that one of my final blogs should be a story of inspiration. To leave this year on a good note and start the new with something positive. I hope that after reading this you feel inspired and can find some way to apply it to your own life presently or sometime down the road.
How often does "happy endings and new beginnings" apply to one situation all at the same time??I would have to say not often, and I definitely have not experienced it personally in my own life until yesterday. Let me start at the beginning...I was a little girl who was raised solely by my mother. My dad left shortly after I was born and was never a part of my life. My mom did re-marry, and have another child. But she eventually divorced and before I was in junior high, she was a single mom, raising two girls. I can honestly say that I spent most of my childhood and a good portion of my adult life crying about my dad and longing that he was a part of my life. In addition as a kid I vividly remember always wondering what was wrong with me, why wasn't I good enough, why didn't my dad want me....Those thoughts and feelings are horrible for a child to think and feel. It affects you in ways that are so complex and multi-faceted that it would take a long time to describe to an outsider and years of therapy to undo. I have wanted to meet him my whole life and there has honestly never been a day that has gone by that I have not thought about him in 32 years. Besides the typical milestones that I longed for him to be a part of such as first day of school, first day of high school, first dance, prom, high school graduation, college graduation (both times), birthdays, holidays, etc. There were also the simpler things that left a huge void in my life such as teaching me to catch, cheering me on at softball games, giving me a pep talk before cheer leading tryouts, teaching me to drive, celebrating my accomplishments/successes, and so on. Let me make it clear however that my mom was and is an amazing mom. She inspires me and I remain in constant admiration of the woman she has been my whole life and the woman I see her evolving into before my eyes even as an adult. And on some levels I feel that if my father had not been ABSENT in my life, there is a possibility that my mom would not have been as PRESENT as she was/is and we might not have the bond that we do today...
Well my moment finally arrived and my prayers were answered yesterday. I finally met my dad(12/30/11). This was a lifetime in the making on some level, but it became more urgent in recent years, and I definitely started actively seeking him out about three months ago. Before I go any further I will say that I am going to refrain from sharing some of the personal details from yesterday and my moments I shared with my dad because it is very sacred to me. However the themes from yesterday and my general thoughts on the amazing experience I will share in hopes that anyone in a similar situation will feel inspired to take the steps towards finding their own closure, or anyone else can gain strength from my story to apply it to various aspects of your own life. Prior to yesterday I had it all planned out how it would go, I was very methodical about the situation. I had my outfit picked out, a list/outline of questions I wanted answered in case I lost focus and got wrapped up in my emotions, I had it mapped out how to get from my house to his, a time of departure, I even had my car washed so it would be perfect and make a good first and possibly last impression on my dad. I am a planner. However even with all the planning I was not prepared for the way the day played out, the turns it took, the dead ends I hit along the way (literally and figuratively), nor the way it ultimately came full circle. After making the drive, I spent 2 hours lost even though I had directions, three hours waiting on his driveway because he wasn't home (which I hadn't anticipated), to then be greeted by his wife,alone...also not prepared for...who turned me away and shut down every suggestion I presented to bring me closer to meeting my dad, which turned into me and my mom sitting on a parking lot trying to re-group and make executive decisions on what to do next. As I called my very logical and at times brutally honest friend to get advice, and as she became inspector gadget for me and googled my dad trying to find some kind of contact info, my line clicked and it was a number that I had dialed several times during my wait on the driveway which my mom had in her address book but wasn't sure who it belonged to but it was near my dad's name so I thought it was worth a try. The voice on the other end turned out to be my dad!!!!And to my surprise he was eager to meet me but he was at work...Somehow plans changed and an hour later we were both heading to a decided meeting spot to meet for the first time..The next few hours I spent with him were total game changers. This was absolutely a life changing experience.....for the better....Even just 24 hours later I can't believe it happened. The way the day started, the turns it took, there were moments I felt defeated and disappointed, but I never gave up. Yesterday reminded me that I have a lot of fight in me, when there is something I want I have the drive to achieve it....My determination is not measurable and my resilience and ability to persevere are incredible. I told my mom that I have not had to "fight" for anything in a long time. But this lifelong "battle" brought one of the greatest blessings yesterday. Sitting here on New Year's Eve, I can honestly say I feel more complete then I ever have in my 32 years. It took me a long time to get here..I have hit many bumps in the road, gone over many hurdles, and jumped through my fair share of hoops..but this moment and this experience reaffirms me that the greater the struggle the more you appreciate something. Words can not describe how thankful I am for yesterday. I have always said my whole life that if I ever met my dad I would not call him my dad...He is my father, which by definition means someone who contributed to me being here..A dad is someone who is there for their kid, which he never was...So therefore I always felt he was un-deserving of that title and honor in my life... However it is amazing that after a lifetime of heartache and pain when it comes to him, just spending the three hours that I did with him and really feeling and hearing his genuineness in his voice and touch I can refer to him without hesitation as "dad". That is my dad. And I learned so much about him in that conversation and about myself. He is a good man and I am proud to be his daughter and call him my dad. These feelings are so new and shocking to me because I never thought I would feel that way towards him and share the moment I did with him yesterday. When I dreamed about me meeting him, even in my best dreams, they never played out like yesterday. Yesterday was my best dream magnified by a million!!!It was so amazing that I honestly chose to stay in tonight to celebrate by reflecting on it, knowing that no matter what was presented or suggested to celebrate a new year, there was no way that it would top me meeting MY DAD. My life has literally come full circle, my heart is full, another piece of my puzzle has been put in place, I feel loved. I don't care who you are or what your life situation is, but I can honestly say coming from where I did and now arriving to this moment, that all of us at our core wants to be validated, especially by our parents. I have been since day one by my mom. But after yesterday I was validated by my dad, he acknowledged me, and claimed me as his daughter. It is a dream come true, and because of it I am walking a little bit taller today, there is a glow on my face that I haven't felt in the longest, and a permanent smile that can't be erased.
I remember right when I left my dad I rushed to my mom's to tell her all the details and remember feeling a little torn because I knew how much time I have lost with him and opportunities I have missed and we have missed. However, as I thought it out I decided I could either be mad about that or feel grateful that I shared what I did with him yesterday and the endless possibilities that we have moving forward. That is what life is all about...Moving forward...Does life always play out the way you want? Not even close. Do things happen that you don't plan? All the time. So all we can do is try to make the best out of every situation, never give up, and never lose faith that amazing things can happen. And when they do happen, and they will, know that you deserve them and appreciate every moment of it, and try to never lose sight of the feeling that it gives you, because that is what I am doing tonight. Happy New Year!