Fifty-six years ago today my father was born. Twenty-two years later I took my first breath as his daughter. Since that day I craved to understand and create a connection, more often than not unsuccessful, but that hasn’t stopped me from creating my image about the man who is my father.
My father always appeared to be a wise man. He seems to be a giant that can pierce anyone with his gaze. His smile can light his face and the ones around him, and his irony can break any tension. My father could sweep me off my feet and carry me with only one hand on the streets of our home town. His words could make me love him and hate him at the same time.
Throughout the years my love for him grew as fast and as high as my anger and confusion. I could never understand why this character, main protagonist in my life, can drive me to be so reckless at times, just like a child and most of all why I would always go back for more. Some call it the “the blood calling.” I don’t know what to call it yet. I pushed him away so many times: when the pain was too much to endure when longing was too much to accept. Still, I always went back, searching for his eyes, so similar to mine, his gaze, the same one I would stare at in the mirror, his mocking smile. I often gave up, surrendered myself to a nonfeeling state. Nothing ever worked. No one could ever fix it. Thirty-four years later I understand that not even my father could fix it. Some feelings and issues are ours to have, keep and accept to find peace.
Over the years I told and preached that our scars make us who we are. I stand by that to this day, but I would add: it is your choice how to wear those scars and that choice will make you stronger or weaker. I spent years running from my pain instead of facing it so much so that when my body forced me to listen and meet my fears, it was too big for me to handle. But slowly I moved towards it more and more, claiming it, allowing it to sit, torment, tear me apart. And then I picked up the pieces and joined the dance all over again.
“Blood-calling” or not I love my father. Not allowing myself to feel that, accept it as it is, always searching for the “why,” fearing that surrendering to love leaves room for pain as well, transformed me into a prisoner; a prisoner that is still learning how to break those shackles today.
Today I choose love over torment. I accept vulnerability instead of my nonfeeling state. I want to say happy birthday!