Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Living my dream

It's been fun getting lots of support and excitement from my family about the new things happening with my job. I knew my mom and sister would be really happy for me. I also knew my dad would probably be happy but was a little anxious about how he would show it.

I was floored when he told me some things he wished he had done instead of going into law. That totally caught me off guard. And I found myself feeling a little disoriented while he was telling me this. I'm not sure if I can put it in words, but hearing him talk about some of the dreams and interests he had when he was my age felt, I don't know, very personal and almost "intimate."

We've never had talks about this kind of thing before, so this is new territory in a way. It was almost like talking to a stranger and I actually started getting anxious. But I tried to relax and give him credit for opening up to me a little more.

When I was getting ready to go home, my dad told me, "Proud of you." Something just went through me when he said that and I almost started crying. I could barely look at him because I knew I'd be a blubbering mess. I just said, "Thanks" and left it at that and headed out the door.

I did start crying on the way home. It felt like sad tears and happy tears and relieved tears and all of those mixed up together. I got home and told Matty and it was then that I really broke down and cried my heart out.

I don't know if it was some kind of breakthrough, but it felt really good to just let all that out, you know? I like where everything is headed with me and my dad. I'm still a little cautious and on edge, but it feels like it's moving in a good direction.

That sign up there sorta applies to my job and my relationship with my dad.

I feel proud of myself for letting my dreams about my career be bigger than my fears.

And I feel proud of myself for letting my dreams about a better relationship with my dad be bigger than my fears.

It means a lot to me that my mom and sister are proud of me.  But there's something about my dad being proud of me that seems to be in a different category. Maybe because we've been estranged for so long and it carries a different kind of weight or something. I'm trying to take it in and cherish it, but also aware that all this is so new I feel like I don't know what to do with it. That might not have come out clear. I guess it's not all clear to me yet, but I'm remaining hopeful.

It's amazing what those three words from my dad mean to me. "Proud of you." I guess I'm feeling proud of him for trying. And proud of me for giving him the chance.

25 comments:

  1. It is great that your dad has progressed this far and seems so committed to patching up your relationship. It appears that he is totally sincere, it must not be easy for him to swallow his own pride and admit he has been wrong.

    I would take your dad at his word and enjoy your new relationship. Your dad apparently wants that quite badly, even if it is on your own terms.

    Andy

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  2. I'm so glad things seem to be moving in the right direction in your relationship with your dad. That's awesome, B. You both seem to have come a long way. I'm proud of you too. xo

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  3. Brad, you made me cry and choke up. Long awaited words and so precious. You might not remember but on an earlier post, I said it was possible your dad was intimidated by you because you have the courage to follow your dream. I'm so glad he's reaching out in this way. I think when you see a parent as a flawed human like the rest of us, you see that they don't have all the answers and it's still okay. Your generous heart will help this along.

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    1. I do remember you telling me that, Mary. :)

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  4. Hi Bradley,

    I wonder if your dad wishes he had been stronger and able to be more like you when he was your age. It would explain a lot, though not excuse his behavior by any means. Something to think about, though.

    And he should be proud of you; for you recent accomplishments and for so many other things. As are we all. Whatever the reasons, happy you and your dad are making progress.

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    1. I've wondered the same thing, Susan. I know his own dad didn't give him much praise.

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  5. So happy for you & proud of you Brad! I'm very glad that your Dad said he was proud of you and like others have said - is finally coming around to the realization that you are following your dreams & living them. (And have the courage & fortitude to do so). I think Mary's point is a great one, that we may come to a place in life where we see clearly our parents as flawed human beings. (And sadly, some much more flawed than others - as sadly was/is the case with your Dad.) That doesn't excuse anything by the way, but it means as Mary said they don't have all the right answers. And they may have made many poor decisions w/re to raising & loving their kids, career choices, etc.
    I also mentioned in an earlier reply of mine that sometimes they begin to see their mortality & want to have a better relationship with those whom they've mistreated. (That being said, your parents would have to be west, way younger than mine lol!).
    In any event, we are all so proud of what you've done .... And this pleasant change in course with the relationship with your Dad. Keep living your dreams!!!!!!
    Cheers,
    David Eaton
    San Jose, CA

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    1. Good observation, David. My mom actually told me my dad has been thinking more and more about the future. Maybe his own mortality and it's making him rethink things.

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  6. It's so good to hear thing are going in a positive direction with your Dad Brad.
    Obviously it felt good good to hear him say he was proud of you, especially if you've been waiting for it.
    It seems as though everything in your life is so positive now, yay!!
    Much love to you dear Bradley :)

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  7. It truly seems that you and your Dad are breaking the restrictive chains of your old relationship and are well on the way to forging new, strong ones that support rather than bind. So happy for you, Bradley.

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  8. For young adults who have a healthy relationship with their parents,it is an emotional and eye-opening experience to see them for the first time as human beings who were once the same age as you are now and had dreams and hopes.
    The emotional impact this has on you is exponentially greater because you are getting to know your dad (and he you) as the man he is and was at different stages in his life all at once. It must be overwhelming. You are so courageous to take on this challenge. A lesser man would have written dad off and moved on. You are an inspiration! You are doing what is obviously hard and painful work of building a relationship with your dad from the ground up.
    Some tears and struggling with feelings and needing extra assurances from Matt are all GOOD things. You are processing. You are becoming a man. Your strength humbles me every time.

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  9. This is wonderful to read. I am so happy for you and I am happy for your dad. I'm betting your dad is dealing with a lot of the same fears and emotions that you are, this is all new territory for him as well. I'm glad he finally got to the point that he was able and willing to reach out and I'm even more glad that you are willing to reach back and work with him on this.
    " It felt like sad tears and happy tears and relieved tears and all of those mixed up together." I like the way you put this because so often emotions are all tangled up together which is probably why they can be so overwhelming. ((Hugs)) sweetie, congratulations on another milestone with your dad.

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  10. Sometimes the smallest steps take us furthest. Sometimes all it takes is three words to make a world of difference.

    I'm so glad you and your dad are on this road together. Sure, you two still have a good way to go before the trust and love are re-established. But both of you seem to want this. Both of you are making the effort. Both of you are letting go of past issues while exploring a new future. And both of you are reaping the benefits.

    It lifts my spirit to see these posts of yours and can't thank you enough for being willing and able to share them with us. I have no doubt a lot of people will be able to benefit from your example. You really are an amazing young man.

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  11. I am very proud of you for being mature enough to allow your father this chance to make up for all those years of estrangement. It has been said that hindsight is 20/20. My corollary to that is that sometimes it takes a swift kick to jar the lenses into place. I don't know what jarred your father's lenses into place, but from what you say, he has seen the light. You can only do what you can to respond in kind. It's not easy to let down the years of defenses you've built up, but I see a real man trying his best, and that real man is YOU.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  12. *Sniffle* I'm just so proud of both you and your Dad! I love the fact that you are proud of him for trying! I'm going to stop now before I start gushing. Love and big, squishy hugs.
    Deedles

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    1. Squishy hugs to you, Auntie Deedles. :)

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  13. I know I'm only echoing what others have already said. Your dad must be at an age like me to take stock of his life, things he has accomplished, things he regrets. I think it's HUGE that he told you of his youthful dreams. I also think there is a bit of envy that you are working towards your dream. There is also a huge pride there too. And I think that deserves a few tears.. �� I am so very proud of you for not letting fear stop you from achieving your professional and personal dreams. ❤️

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  14. I'm so happy your dad is finally reaching out to you dear Brad. You so deserve all the achievements in your life... On your job, with your family, all the changes inside yourself. It's wonderful to follow all of yours and Matts achievements.. I'm really proud of you both. Lots of love honey.

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  15. Brad, I don't think it would have been a bad thing for you to go ahead and be a "blubbering mess" in front of your dad. It would have shown him in a way words can't how much his love & approval means to you. Really glad that he's continuing to reach out and try to become the kind of dad you deserve & that you should have had all along.

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  16. It's so obvious to me that your Dad is trying. And it wasn't just a one-time effort. Seems like he's reaching out in little ways each time you see him. I have a feeling I'm closer in age to him than to you. I see MUCH clearer now the opportunities that have passed me by (or that I didn't try for) and how quickly time flies. The other thing I can say with a fair degree of certainty, its that when he does take these little baby steps, his heart is probably pounding, but he's doing it anyway. That should tell you something. I'm sure he knows, every time he reaches out in any way, that you would be totally justified in turning your back on him. I truly believe it was you reaching out to him first that's given him the courage to try and repair your relationship. I think you both are amazing. (You especially).

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  17. You've held yourself tense around your Dad for years so the relatively sudden ceasefire is bound to have emotional reprcussions. They need to come out and I'm glad you have Matt to be therewith you. Also, your body & mind are probably thinking why couldn't he have been like this always so grieving he what ifs.

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  18. Brad, you should be proud of you and proud of your father. We all know how hard you are trying to have a happy relationship with him. Do not give up. You are on the right way. I think he is trying too, and it must be hard for him to change and open up with you, but he is trying and that's wonderful. And why should not he be proud of you? You are his son, he loves you, and he must realize what a wonderful man his son is becoming.

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