You see during my spiral in 2017, I began to evaluate every possible relationship in my life - whether it be Platonic or Romantic. I will get into the needs and necessities of romantic at another time so for now, lets focus on platonic.
Now platonic relationships are prevalent in our lives more than anything romantic. When my sister passed, I began to evaluate every relationship within my life. Is this bettering me? Am I bettering them? I have made references to selfishness a lot because selfishness is the key to living, the key to survival. Knowing I am bettering myself and doing my part to better you - wouldn't that ultimately make us better people?
The hardest relationship to evaluate was that with my dad. You see my dad was in fact.....a great dad. But not the best father. A dad is someone that is there for you growing up. Throwing the ball. Showing you acceptance. Making you tough. Helping you with a broken heart. A father is there for the adult years. What really is love? How do I do adult things? How do I handle pressures of adult life and this world? When it came time for these, leaving the coop type transitions, my male parental figure vanished.
It could be the lack of interest in the passing of the torch or not coming to terms with me becoming a "man". But my psychoanalysis of my dad is that he didn't have his own dad OR father for that matter. So when he was growing up, he grew up fast. In turn, when I was growing up, my dad was present every step of the way (for myself and all of my siblings). His parenting was questionable at times but I never once felt unloved by either parent and that is something I admit I am more than fortunate for. My dad though didn't know how to adjust to being a father or a parent to an adult. Again, he never had his own transition really, it was rushed and forced.
Full transparency: In a few months, it will be a year since I have spoken to my dad and I would be lying to you if I said I didn't think about a relationship with him every day. I even made the failed attempt at phoning him a few days while here in LA - despite my own family's advice of "not to risk getting hurt." In my journey of purpose and attempt to be a decent human, there is a large piece of me that wants a relationship with my dad. Is it some strange needing for approval? Look at me, I am doing well dad, look? It could very well be that with a mix of emotions since my sister's passing. I unfortunately know first hand how much of a mind fuck it is to know a family member is gone and think of the last exchange of words you had with them - especially when it is negative. Its haunting....
There is beauty in this chaos however... the breaking of the cycle. My dad was a rolling stone, an emotionally and mentally abusive man who would never find himself accountable for anything he may have done wrong -- as children we would always have to apologize first.. So in my best "glass half full" approach, I have learned what NOT to do.
While not necessarily having a constant "father" figure in my adult life, I have brought it upon myself to learn and absorb. I know to treat women with love & respect, I have three older sisters and a white chocolate drop of a mother that taught me that. This adult life, as cliche as it sounds, is process of elimination. Don't get me wrong, there are many aspects of my childhood that I would like to emulate of my dad when I eventually get into that role. As a father, my goal, as should be the goal of any child, is to ultimately be a better parent. I feel as if that may have been lost on my dad. Its not offensive - your parents SHOULD want you to be a better parent than them. If not, what the fuck did they teach you? If life is about growth then this should be a human's biggest life lesson.
I love my dad. I will always love my dad. The feeling and idea of having a relationship with a father, though fleeting, is something I wish I had but am grateful for what is has taught me. Knowing and accepting that allows additional room for growth. I'm in an industry filled with machismo douche-execs - so tough skin definitely helps, thanks dad.
The Journey Continues....