The Pursuit of Happy-ish

Not everything I wanted to share was going to be a soppy post about how miserable my life was or can be. This is the Happy-ish Blog, after all; it’s bound to have some positivity involved. I thought today would be a great day for sharing some happiness, inspired by my recent weeks.

Christmas of 2000, before my life changed.

As a military man, my dad could be rather emotionless and harsh, but if you met him now, you’d never imagine him in that light. Age may have softened his hard heart, or he may have come to realize through loss, his gratitude and appreciation for what he has. 

I​’ve gotten to see him two weeks in a row since Cam and I moved two hours away, and both of those goodbyes had my dad nearly in tears. I saw his blue eyes watering, but he probably doesn’t know I noticed as he hugged me and told me he misses me. It hurts my heart knowing he’d go back to the home we’ve lived in for 26 years, alone (not including the four dogs to keep him company of course). 

H​e wasn’t always able to express his emotions before; I can rarely remember hearing I was loved by my parents through my adolescent and teen years. We also weren’t the kind of family (post-divorce) to even have dinner together or sit and talk about random topics. 

And yet, now, he tells me about his weekend with his wild buddies, girlfriends, and his hobbies (my dad is over 60, rides a motorcycle, and hangs out with rocker dudes to give you a slight image of him). Don’t even get him started on Cam, I swear he loves him more than me sometimes (joking of course, because I’ll always be his little girl aka the best daughter ever). 

T​he hardships we faced have given me the opportunity to grow and create this relationship with my dad. And it’s a special one – not like your typical family-portrait style, father-daughter relationship. But one where we’ve endured pain and healed together, like a matching scar that gives us a unique bond. 

Forgiveness is powerful. 

It can bring so much more fulfillment and love into our lives than animosity. Through every tough experience life threw at me, those challenges shaped me and forced me to grow. Although growth is uncomfortable, it ultimately allowed me the opportunity to forgive and forge the relationship I now have with my dad. 

And that couldn’t make me any happier. 

A recent selfie by dad at Cam’s game, plus one friend.

Despite the amount of years that have gone by, a relationship is never too far gone to mend. A story will always have more than one side, and communicating with an open mind can bring about new understandings. I hope if you have a lost relationship with someone important, you allow yourselves the chance to repair it, or move on from it, without any grudges to weigh you down and keep you from your own happiness. 

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