I’m about to get personal and talk about something I’ve never spoken about in such a public capacity before, so this is new for me. I’m warning you now that I am going to be very blunt and open and raw in this post, so if you’re not about that, stop now.
Ever since I was old enough to remember, I’ve known that there was one thing all my friends seemed to have that I never did.
A father. A dad.
In this country, 43 percent of children live in a home with no father present. That number is huge. And it’s also me.
Sometimes I look at it as a blessing in disguise. Because he was never there to begin with, I never loved him. Because I never loved him, he never got the chance to leave me.
I see people use this as an excuse, I see people blame their fathers for their mistakes and I see way too many stories on suicide, abuse and drugs being rationalized and/or explained due to the fact that there was no father. My life turned out very differently than that.
Being raised without a father has taught me so many lessons in life. Lessons that I appreciate more than anyone will ever know. This part of my life has shaped me perhaps more than any other, and I don’t regret that. I embrace it because it’s who I am. I want to say thank you to my mom for never making me feel like a burden. Not once did I feel like I was missing something. You were the mom and you were the dad. And I’d go so far as to say you put “super” in front of both of them.
I wanted a father. Sometimes I still do, but I don’t need one. It wasn’t until recently that I really began to think of it this way, but because I don’t have that father/daughter bond, I have learned what I deserve. It sounds weird and twisted, but hear me out.
You know that stigma of the fatherless girl who uses guys as a father figure in the movies? She dates older guys and it’s all a little bit creepy? Yeah, I’m not about that. I’m not looking for a replacement for him. I don’t need one. I have nothing to replace. Why would I want to replace a man who didn’t see anything wrong with leaving?
I’ve learned what I want.
I want to have a good husband one day. But I don’t need one.
I am fiercely independent and, while some see that as a weakness, I consider it one of my greatest strengths. I’m not looking for validation from anyone, I’m not using anybody as a crutch to get to where I want to go or to get the things I want. If I want something, I get it myself. I’ve been called an “angry feminist” because of this on multiple occasions. Well, if being able to stand on my own two feet makes me angry, then so be it.
I want to have a good husband, but I don’t want to need one.
To my future daughter:
I hope you have what I didn’t. Not because you need it, but because you deserve it. I want you to be surrounded with love as I was, but I want you to have your father’s arms, as well as mine, ready to wrap around you when you need a hug. I want you to learn how to be independent and stand up for yourself. I want you to be fierce. I want you to take on the world by storm, with or without a man (or woman) by your side.
I want you to have a good husband (or wife!) someday, but I don’t want you to need one.
I want you to find your friends and cherish them. They are the people you call at 2am when you need to scream and cry. They are they people who will make you laugh so hard you pee your pants. They are the people you can trust no matter what. They love you because you are who you are. They are the family you get to choose.
One last thing before I go:
I want to say thank you to all of my friends. You guys are always there when I need to cry or yell or vent no matter what. Sometimes a friend can offer you the support nobody else can, and I am grateful everyday for that bond I share with each and every one of you. I’m not going to name names, you know who you are. You all are one thing I do need.