It’s hard to go back home sometimes. My dad and I have never been especially close. He is fiercely protective and incredibly loving, but when it comes to being involved and supportive he struggles with me. We don’t operate the same way. Our interests are polar opposites, so when it comes to being a 100% serious and transparent with him, we both fumble and often end up frustrated and walking away after about five minutes of arguing or lecturing.
One night we ended up being the last ones left in the living room and he was completely silent, just staring at me quizzically. I asked him what he was thinking and he brought up a previous conversation about my decision to deactivate facebook and questioned my actions. My stomach started to drop, I prepared myself for the impending lecture.
He surprised me. As I explained myself he started nodding in agreement with me. I talked about how, while I wanted to remain connected to my friends, I was tired of all the pettiness that occurred on the site. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good on Facebook; baby announcements, friends milestones, watching people grow closer together, keeping up with friends out of state and across the world. But these can be supplemented with other less detailed bits of technology. He began to open up to me at this point and I realized that we weren’t as different as I had previously thought. The conversation turned to my choice of lipstick color and my work situation and why he was worried about my choices.
In the end, I realised he was proud of me, he told me that I showed wisdom and maturity in my recent decisions. To hear those words come from a man who had previously called me out and seemed to constantly lecture me on a seemingly endless list of little nothings gave me great joy. He showed me that all he did was care for me and worry about me and that as I continued to grow up, I would always be his little girl and he would always want to be a part of my life.
So, even though you may struggle with your parents and family talk with them. Not all conversations will be easy. In fact most of of them will be difficult or uncomfortable, but it’s a part of being a family and growing up. Never give up a chance to be with them and talk with them. Get to know your family, be friends with them. And most importantly be transparent with them.
Keep it real and keep your loved ones close.