It’s been 10 months since I’ve talked to my father. I haven’t seen him in two years, and it’s been about 10 years since I’ve spent a holiday with him.
I don’t have his address (it’s somewhere in Kentucky), and the last e-gift card I sent him for his birthday went unopened (and I kept getting automated emails reminding me about it).
Shortly after my 16th birthday, my dad bought me a car, took me to lunch, and told me he was moving out. He left that night.
I can’t and won’t say that I had a bad childhood. I didn’t, and I know my parents worked really hard, and sacrificed a lot to make sure I had the things I needed.
In fact, my dad and I have mostly had a friendly relationship over the years. We have a lot in common; we are both writers, techie-nerds, and we love to laugh.
But I wish he would have been there when it really counted — to scare the shit out of every guy I dated, to teach me how a man should respect a woman, and to give me confidence in my achievements.
My dad is a subject I told myself I’d never touch in this column or on my blog. I know he’d hate me for it.
But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a woman with dating issues is usually suffering from daddy issues, too.
Multiple studies over the years reveal that women without a solid father figure are more likely to be desperate for male attention, sexually promiscuous, have an unplanned pregnancy, and perhaps go through a divorce.
For years, I never thought I had these problems. I actually thought I’d beaten the statistics — I didn’t have daddy issues!
But the dots started to connect.
I’ve dated men who abused or manipulated me; I had an unplanned pregnancy, which resulted in an abortion, and I have terrible self-esteem.
I don’t recall my dad ever being happy for me or proud of me. Graduating from college, getting a job, buying my own car… none of those things ever earned his approval.
Many times, they seemed to piss him off.
He started setting rules that made it so we couldn’t see each other; bringing up past court battles with my mom, or saying he doesn’t drive on holidays.
I spent years working around his rules; I just wanted him to support me and love me.
But last summer, I’d reached my breaking point and I finally stood up for myself. I told him the words I’d let build up inside me for years.
And in return, I got silence.
I’ve been through therapy, and am still trying to resolve the question that haunts me daily: if my own father won’t talk to me, love me, or be proud of me, why would anyone else?
Even though we are both adults, I hope that he can understand my feelings, tell me he loves me, and we can move on as a family.
No one can fulfill the relationship a daughter has with her father, and I’m still wishing that ours can be resurrected.
If you’re able to see your dad this Father’s Day, or even talk to him, thank him for being there when it really mattered.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have that option.
I spent all of last week with my mom, as she was in town to visit. I hadn’t seen my mom in an entire year! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to ask off work, so I still had to put in 40 hours while she was here, and a lot of our visiting time was early in the morning or late at night.
But nonetheless, it’s still fun to have your mom around. She cleaned my apartment, really getting my bathroom in tip-top shape, and she cleaned my bedroom carpet, and dusted nearly the whole place. I am really thankful for it, because it’s something I feel like I never have time to do.
We also got to eat some yummy local food (gator tacos, boiled crawfish), did some shopping, got our nails done, and just caught up (even though we talk every day).
For Mother’s Day, I gave my mom a few gifts, one of which was a bracelet from Little Words Project. I’ve become obsessed with them after following them on Instagram @Littlewordsproject. Basically, they make and sell bracelets that have words on them, words of encouragement. You give someone a word you think they need, and when they’ve gotten all they need from their word, they pass it along to someone else who may need it.
In April, someone gave me a “Courage” bracelet, which I’ve been wearing ever since. When I went home to Indiana, I gave my friend one that said “Imagine” and then I gave my mom this “Laugh” bracelet.
I love wearing it, and although it’s kind of silly to think, seeing that word (courage) really does give me strength throughout my day! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend with your moms and families.
Alright, I’m going to admit that I’m really bad about this whole “Introducing the significant other to your friends” thing.
In the past, I get really excited when I meet a new guy and we start hanging out (who doesn’t?), and I want him to meet my friends, whom I love so much. I don’t mean for it to be a serious thing, although it is a good idea to see if he fits in with the crowd.
What ends up happening is that it doesn’t work out with the guy, we stop talking, and my friends (or I) never see him again. And I’m left feeling like a big jackass because I just introduced a guy to my friends who ultimately was a blip on my life’s radar.
My friends have assured me that I shouldn’t feel like a jackass — they’ve been single, too, and they know how it goes. I still feel stupid.
In my recent dating adventures, I told myself that I wasn’t going to introduce a guy I’m seeing/talking to anyone, until things are serious — as in, we’re exclusive, and in order for THAT to happen, we have to have been talking for at least three months.
I know, rules. But if I don’t crack the whip, I’m just going to stay single forever, right? I still might ;)
Anyway, I did a little Google searching to see what the interwebs had to say about the matter, and I found a few things.
For starters, YourTango.com suggests that meeting the friends too early can actually put pressure on your FRIENDS, because they feel like they’re pressured to make relationship decisions for you. I’m not sure if this is true, but… they do suggest waiting to introduce a guy until you’ve been on at least three dates (duh) and to keep it casual for the first meeting.
I found some decent advice on April Beyer’s website, which suggested asking yourself WHY you’re introducing your girl/guy to your friends — approval? Locking in the idea that you’re a couple? April suggests waiting until it feels natural, which sounds like a solid idea.
It’s safe to say it’ll be awhile before I introduce a guy to my friends, if I’m ever that lucky. But when I do, I’ll make sure I’m doing it for the right reasons.
Thursday night, I could not wait to finish with work, jump into my sweats and walk right on over to the movie theatre for the midnight premier of “The Longest Ride,” a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller.
I was really excited for several reasons: 1. the book was fantastic. I have very, very fond memories of laying out on my terrace, getting a tan, sipping on a wine spritzer (no, seriously), and falling in love with this unique story, 2. SCOTT EASTWOOD IS FINE, and 3. I allowed myself a cheat and got a junior popcorn, with butter.
But seriously, that second point needs to be mentioned one more time… because how have I not noticed him nor his hotness before now?
Anyway, “The Longest Ride” is the story of two couples — very similar couples — in different time periods, whose lives intersect in a very unique way.
The movie and the book tells both of their stories, while in turn, offering a tale of love… as only Nicholas Sparks could. Read more about the book from a previous blog post, here.
I think this movie struck me in an interesting way, because some of the issues in the story are easily things that could happen to anyone. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of questions and uncertainty when I think about love and my future. The movie touched on those issues, and although it was a little overwhelming at midnight on a Thursday, it was cathartic.
While I’ve seen all of the movies and read nearly all of Sparks’ books, this one is definitely one of my favorites (I just love “The Last Song”). I don’t, and won’t, spoil the movie for you, but per usual, don’t forget to pack the Kleenex!
We’re well into March, which means if you had a New Year’s Resolution of “sticking to a healthy diet,” then you’ve probably crashed and burned a few times by now.
And no, it’s not that I don’t have faith in you! I just know that making changes, especially when it comes to food (delicious food) is very difficult.
But, I’ll share what’s worked for me. And of course, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone, but perhaps it will. And if you’ve got ideas that I haven’t mentioned here, I’d love to hear them!
- Remember the “Why.” There’s a reason you decided to eat healthy and even get on a diet — so go back to that. Maybe it was a picture of yourself five years ago. The looming swimsuit season. A doctor’s recommendation. Your kids. Whatever the reason, remember that, and let it inspire you. If you need to make a note and tape it on your fridge, do that!
- Find inspiration. Everyone gets inspired by different things. Pictures of hot guys really inspire me to get my butt to the gym. Fact: when we have to do “squat holds” in boxing class, I always picture Justin Bieber. Shirtless. Whatever works for you, do it, think it, put a picture of it on your phone — it can be your little secret.
- Cater to you. Not every diet plan works for every person. Some people love Paleo, I really didn’t. Some people like Atkins; I’ve never tried it. I think it’s important to find something that works for you, and that’s a matter of clearing the outside noise from your mind. Take things slow. If you eat fast food every day, even a small change of grilled meats and veggies is going to make a big difference. If you’re ready to make another change in a month, then do it.
- Allow freedom. This is the toughest part, but the second you tell yourself you can’t have chocolate, you’re going to want JUST chocolate. So, allow a cheat meal, or maybe a cheat day — whatever is going to work for you. If you box yourself into a strict plan, you’ll resent yourself and the diet. Then? You’ll quit the healthy foods altogether.
- Get creative. My favorite part about healthy eating is discovering things that are healthy, but are so delicious. Don’t be afraid to try new things! When I did Paleo, I craved sweets, but I ended up finding these dates rolled in unsweetened coconut… that tasted like fig newtons. They were a fabulous treat that felt like a cheat but weren’t! Find recipes you love all the time and see what twists you can give them to make them fit your new guidelines. You’ll find that there’s lots of healthy, delicious options for you.
Need recipe ideas? Here’s a few of my favorites: