June 13, 2014

Day 12: The Obligatory Father's Day Post (and the best advice I've ever gotten)

Usually, I'm not really into bandwagons.  I mean, overalls are just never going to be a thing; stop trying to force me on that one, H&M.

But when the bandwagon is celebrating the man who raised you, well, I can get on that one.  I mean, look at the guy.  He definitely wouldn't be caught dead in overalls.

And he also truly is my hero.  I know that sounds like something I should give to him on a card I made with finger paint after my nap, but I can't think of a better way to put it.  As much as I have spent the last 24 years trying to hide it, advice from my dad has always been the only type that I always follow.  That's partly because I respect my dad more than anyone I know.  It's also just because he is always infuriatingly, annoyingly right.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to share most of what he's said over the years.  Because I'm the kid who never was into sharing Easter candy.  And, hello, then I'd be giving away all my secrets.

But in the name of the holiday, I've got just one thing my dad has told me that I am going to share.  And actually, what I'm about to tell you is the Reese's Eggs of good advice.

A few years ago, I was incredibly angry.  (I can only assume it was over something earth-shattering.)  But as I was fuming from my nostrils, I was also worried: am I even justified feeling this mad?  Everyone knows there's not much better than a good justified rage, but being angry about something you're not sure you're allowed to be angry over isn't quite the same.

I told this to my dad and he said back to me, "What you are feeling can never be right or wrong."

Maybe he was just trying to get me to calm down so he could go back to watching the O's game.  I don't even know if he remembers telling me that.  But it's also something I doubt I'll ever forget.

I'm a girl, so my natural disposition is to go through about 178 emotions a day.  Double that during football season. And sometimes when I feel worried or hurt or angry, I wonder if my feelings are justified, or if I just need a Snickers.

Okay, so sometimes it really is just Nikki (my hangry alter ego) out for her pre-dinner stroll.  But if I have a sandwich and I still feel worried or hurt or angry, that feeling is just a feeling.  It's not right or wrong or marginally justified; I just feel the way I feel.

Obviously, the way you act can be right or wrong or marginally justified, but a feeling can't.  A feeling just is.  And if you're honest with yourself about what you're actually feeling, you're 97% on your way to being a well-rounded adult.  You know, the type that doesn't wear overalls.

Thanks, Dad, for being 50% of the reason I'm here, for everything you've taught me, and how truly safe and loved you've always made me feel.  I love you.