I had the opportunity to have a very interesting conversation with my oldest daughter over the holiday weekend. I’m not sure how we got onto the topic, but regardless, I am glad we did.
She said the although she knows I am still her dad and that she loves me, and loves how happy I am etc, she is still adjusting. She still sometimes misses the old me. What she misses the most is the “predictability” of who I was. She could always count on how I would react and support etc. Although I still support her, she said that she has no idea how I am now going to react. Because I am more engaged and overt in communicating, she has no clue where things are going to go. And she finds that a bit disconcerting.
She added that she really enjoys being with the authentic me. So not to misunderstand her intent or comments. She just isn’t sure yet how to “read me”. After 26 years, she pretty much knew how I’d react or be involved etc. But now…??? Not so much. She is confident that she, more correctly, we, will get there in time, but just not right now. So her “rock of consistency” isn’t there anymore, so it’s different. She knows I will always be there for her, just not sure right now what that looks like.
I mentioned that I still have the same interests, humour, likes and dislikes (for the most part…just more on the feminine side if you get my drift). She acknowledged that. For her, it’s not good or bad, better or worse. Just different.
That really made me think. I have been going on, and on, and on, with my two girls that I am still the same person, inside, when in fact in their eyes, I am not. No wonder they were conflicted. I didn’t see what they saw. So they found it a bit difficult to engage. Maybe difficult isn’t the correct word. Maybe, uncertain, or scary? At a time when they both have so much going on in their lives with lots of balls in the air, not having the consistency that they grew up with adds another level of complexity in their already challenging world.
So, maybe I’m not the same person. I know I have changed physically, and to an extent emotionally and mentally as well. We all acknowledge that it is for the better. I just thought the core of who I am didn’t change. Maybe it hasn’t. Maybe it just the way I live out who I am that has changed. The “User interface” as it were. Don’t know.
I am hoping these conversation continue. Communication. That’s what it’s all about. So I will keep thinking about this one. Just another thing on my journey. You just never know where things are going to come from or when they will insert themselves into your life. So be prepared to hit those speed bumps.
It does keep me on my toes, that’s for sure!