As I write this, after staring at this blank white space for far too long, I’m struck by the fact that there is no easy, neat, clear-cut way to begin sharing my story with you. Paralyzed, I sit here processing the enormity of it all—how do I uncover the complexity of who exactly I am, let alone share it cohesively with all of you? The challenge feels daunting (to say the least). I also have a healthy dose of ADD, which makes my life quite colorful, but doesn’t necessarily help with the task at hand. All that to say, while I can’t promise that this story will be presented in neatly unfolding thoughts, I can fairly safely say that it will be interesting.
Today is Father’s Day, 2016, and I’m keenly aware of this fact as I begin this journey with you. I chose this day to share my story on purpose, but not for the purpose you might think. So let me be clear—there is no one, NO ONE IN THIS WORLD, who could ever replace my father. My Dad is my hero, my everything. Yes, I’m a daddy’s girl (if you couldn’t tell). Every step I’ve taken in life, from my very first as I learned to walk up through now, has been with him close behind and ready to support if I should fall. It’s how I’ve had the confidence to go out on limbs, to stretch my wings, and take a leap of faith toward pursuing my (sometimes far flung) dreams, without knowing exactly what they would bring. He is one of the most practical, self-disciplined, sacrificing, strong, and consistently dependable people I have ever known. It is from my father that I learned how to be largely self-reliant, hardworking, thoughtful in my decisions, and to protect myself—living with my “eyes and ears open”. He also taught me what unconditional love truly means, the value of family, loyalty, and “always sticking together”.
It is very, very important to me that you, my dear reader, and anyone who may hear my story in the future, fully understand what I’m about to say next. I start this journey of self discovery on Father’s Day with great reverence, love, and respect, not to search for my father, but to ground my coming story in the one part of my identify that will remain static and forever unchanged, and that is this—I KNOW who my father is. He is the man who overcame endless obstacles to propel me into existence, who was ecstatic to learn that my mother was pregnant with not one but three babies in tow, who started documenting my life by filming my birth, who began to invest in my education before I was old enough to even speak, who held me when I cried over each of my life’s greatest heartbreaks and who has been my greatest champion with every small victory. I have had and always will have one father, blood of my soul, and there is NOTHING in this world that could ever change that, least of all discovering who out there is also responsible for my conception.
Dad, you mean absolutely everything to me, and I want you to know that while I have to go on this journey, and though I do seek to learn about the part of me that you do not comprise, I mean in no way to dishonor you, and I hope to cause you no pain. The thought of that even being a possibility breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. So please, please, while I know I selfishly ask, give me one more gift through your unconditional love that I’ve always been able to rely on—give me your TRUST, in the fact that you could never, ever lose my love, for it is the cornerstone of my being. It will remain so and anchor me as I seek to venture out on a limb once again—this time to unravel my new and expanded understanding of “who I also am”.
All my love,