We sometimes get hung up on the things we don’t have rather than appreciate the things we do have.
For most of my teenage years and young adulthood, this was especially true for me whenever Father’s Day rolled around. While my friends were trying to figure out which cool gadget they’d get their dads to celebrate the occasion, I found myself feeling lost.
At the time, I didn’t openly talk about my issues with my dad, or our lack of anything resembling a “normal” father-daughter relationship. I avoided the subject altogether, and developed a deep resentment toward my dad for not being the person I wanted him to be. I hardly acknowledged the other dads in my life because I was so focused on the dad I didn’t have.
But at 26, I’ve come to realize that what I do have in father figures outweighs what I feel I don’t have in my biological father.
Sure, one day I probably won’t have the traditional father-daughter dance at my wedding, but that’s OK. Because I WILL share that special moment with one of the incredible men in my life who continues to show me love and support through the happiest and toughest of times.
One of the men who helped raise me as a confident, fearless, independent woman who knows who she is and what she’s capable of…but who also taught me the power of humility.
Who allowed me to understand (and truly believe) how I deserve to be treated, and that I should never settle for anything less than that.
Who challenges me to ask questions, and to not just accept things as known truths.
Who inspires me to identify my passions, and to continue to explore and exercise those passions.
Who showed me the importance of kindness, and how something as simple as a smile at a random stranger can change a person’s entire life.
Who taught me that just because someone is flawed doesn’t automatically mean that he or she is a bad person.
Who calls me out when I veer off course, but always helps me get back on track with only minor injuries.
Who has given me the tools necessary to tackle this crazy thing called life, and continues to stand by my side through its many trials and tribulations.
This year, I won’t feel disappointed, sad, or ashamed when I’m in Hallmark and realize that my Father’s Day card selection will likely always be from the “Like A Father” section. Because instead of having just one dad, I have a whole bunch of “like a dads” who each play a unique, yet equally important, role in my life.
To my Grandpa, who I miss more and more each day, as well as my uncles and brother (though he’s not a father quite yet): Just in time for Father’s Day, I’d like to thank you for your continuous love, friendship and mentorship, and for all that you do on a daily basis to make me feel special and empowered. I love you more.
Happy Father’s Day!