My father is a man who knows his words. It has nothing to do with his vocabulary because he knows just as many as the next man. His ability to construct a good sentence does not come from his time spent in school. What many fail to grasp is that a captivating and respected tongue derives from the moments in between each conversation, each sentence, and each word. It comes from the demeanor of the being and the expressions shown upon their face.
Last night my dad sat on the couch next to me and simply asked, “In all reality, what is it that you wish to do in the next few years?” Any child that recently graduated college would have felt the heat and built up a defense stronger than Fort Knox but this time, it was different. The look in his eyes was that of a father who only wanted the best for his daughter and that, that right there made me to do something I have never done before: tell the truth.
You see, I have never told the truth about my dreams because with everyone who asked there was always a hint of sympathy. “You can do all you set your mind on but…” “That’s a great ambition, why don’t you try it this way.” Replies similar to those helped me to form the very best “lies”. I started telling people what I thought they wanted to hear.”I want to do photography but don’t worry, that’s not the only thing I wish to do with my time.”
To my dad though, I simply replied, “I want to do photography.” Literally, no if, ands, or buts. And to my somewhat surprise he paused, looked up and then back at me to say okay. In that silence I knew I had gained his approval. Those few seconds of quietness rung louder than any other artificial validation I have ever received before. We then proceeded to talk about the many avenues photography has to offer. He asked me about the specifics and also had a few general questions. All things from someone who sincerely cared would care to ask.
Pops, you know the absence of your approval has never deterred me from the things I do. It’s called tenacity mixed in with a bit of stubbornness; I get if from you. However, now that I know I truly have it, it means the world to me. I can go forth with assurance and a little more gusto than I previously did before.
Ese baba mi. I love you.