Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don't call me a Daddy's Girl...

Last night I found myself sitting at the dinner table in Bogota Colombia. My dear friends and I got into a lengthy conversation about the relationships with our Fathers, Mothers, and significant others. Throughout the night, a number of interesting points and concepts arose, but the one that stuck with me was the idea that girls with tumultuous relationships with their fathers tended to date outside of their race. I don't know if this was factual information, but being that I was sitting at a table with three other women, all with "daddy issues", and none of us have ever dated within our own race was enough to make me a believer.

I think back to all of the movies where a young lady has a good relationship with her father. Lets take the movie "Father of the Bride" with Steve Martin. It is a story in which George Banks (Martin) is up in arms over the extremely quick engagement and wedding plans of his young daughter Annie. The movie depicts the emotional roller coaster of George as he comes to terms with the idea of letting go of his "Baby Girl". It is the ultimate portrayal of a wonderful Father/Daughter relationship. The reason why I mentioned this movie is because there is an actual quote where Annie tells her father that the reason why she fell in love and decided to marry her fiance is because he reminded her of her father. How touching.

I actually really enjoyed the movie. It is one of those corny films where, if I'm flipping through the stations and it's on, I will watch. I guess it's because, being a woman with my own set of "Daddy issues", it's nice to see what life is like on the other side of the spectrum. I honestly want that for my own daughter, when and if I have one, which is why I don't want to marry someone like my father. Don't get me wrong, I love him very much, but I would not want to marry him.

Another topic that we hit on was the idea of not wanting to be our mothers. Not that all of us have issues with our mothers, but those of us at the table who do, we found that it also influenced our dating style. For those of you who have read my previous entry, you know that I have not seen my mother for over 20 years because she chose to leave our family. Obviously, I was left with a few abandonment issues. Not the type in which I am afraid of people leaving me, but the kind that makes me over committal. I have stayed in relationships long past their expiration date because I did not want to be the one who bailed. I did not want to be Her. It is something that I am coming to terms with and am constantly working on. It is a process, like all life transforming realizations are.

But going back to the idea of not dating guys who remind me of my father, it is my way of insuring that I never become my mother. It is really silly to think that I can somehow avoid this by dating outside of my race, but my psychological issues are all kinda silly when I break them down. But it is what it is and it's interesting to think about. So I end this post with a quote from a John Mayer song. His douchebaggery somehow did not affect my liking of this song. I like to think of it as a love letter to parents on behalf of their daughters...

"Fathers be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do. Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so Mothers be good to your daughters too".

Sunday, April 10, 2011

If you are out there...

I want this blog to be a place of honesty. And while sometimes it's scary to be so unguarded, I know that anyone who reads it will get a glimpse into my soul. Today I want to share something about me. It may seem extremely personal, but I feel it is directly responsible in shaping my decisions about being open with matters of the heart.

When I was 6 years old, my mother chose to abandon her family. I have no idea why she decided to leave, but from the age of 7 on, I have made no real attempts to contact her. But as I get older, my feelings about her have changed. I no longer carry a resentment towards her, and I want nothing more than to find her and tell her that I forgive her. Not only for her sake, but for mine.

So I wrote her a letter. I don't know where she is, so I cant mail it. I don't even know if she is still alive. But I believe in my heart that she is and want to put it out into the universe so that maybe, someday, it will find its way to her.

So here it is, my love letter to my mother.

Dear De'borah,
Hi. It’s been a long time since we have spoken and even longer since we have seen each other. I have so much to tell you but I honestly have no idea where to begin. I guess first and foremost, I want to tell you that I’m sorry. You reached out to me some time ago, but because of anger and resentment that I felt towards you, I decided to punish you by not responding. Little did I know at the time that I was really hurting myself.
I use to be so angry with you. I blamed you for every bad thing that ever happened to me. I always thought that if you were there to protect me, then I would have never known all of that pain. But now that I am older, I realize that you had your own pain, and maybe leaving was your way of protecting me. Maybe you thought that if you stayed, that you would do more harm than good.
I look for you. Whenever I am home, I look. But it has been 20 years since I have seen your face. I honestly can’t remember what you look like. I wonder if I look like you. I know that you make up half of me, but I often find myself wondering what half. The few memories I have of you are fading as time goes by, but there is one that is forever burned into my mind.
 I was very little, maybe 4 or 5 years old. I sitting on the living room floor and coloring with you. I can’t remember your face, but I have a clear image of your hands. You were tracing the outline of the picture with a crayon and then coloring it in… so lightly. It looked so beautiful to me, like a work of art. I remember wishing that I could color like you, but I could barely stay in the lines. That is my favorite memory of you because at that moment, you were my mom and I looked up to you. I will never forget that. Now every time I color, I outline the picture, color it in lightly, and think of you. Also, I think I have your hands.
I may never understand what you have been through, but I would love the chance. I want you to know who I am… the woman I have grown to be. I think that if you met me now, you would be proud. I am living my life fully and although you were not there, you have always been on my mind and in my heart. I want to thank you for creating me. I credit you for helping to make me who I am today. I know that while it was hard for me not having you in my life, it must have been a million times harder for you. I just want you to know that I am ok. I want you to see that I am happy. And most of all, I want you to know that after all this time, I have never stopped loving you.

For many years, the idea of being a mother terrified me. I was so afraid that I was going to fail. But now I cant wait to have children of my own. I know the value of telling someone that you love them. Although my mother was not there to tell me so, I know that she loves me. I am just excited to have the chance to tell my future children that I love them. And I will do so every chance I get.