Living Guilt- phree- No Apologies Necessary

While packing up my apartment this past weekend I came across one of like 23 (give or take 3) journals.  It was a more current journal. Current as in most of the dates were the end of 2010 and all 2011. I flipped through the pages to get a sense of who I was around this time a year ago.  I started reading entries that began in spring of 2011 and stumbled across one I called “Starbucks.” As I read the page I noticed some of the ink was a little smudged, a clear indicator that I was crying when I wrote this.
As I read it, I read how ten years prior to that entry I sat in that same Starbuck’s and told my mother that when I left for college I was leaving my relationship with my dad.  College was my ticket out and I was going to choose to use it as an opportunity out of a father daughter relationship that for this daughter…sucked. My mom reminded that it was my choice and that I would have to live with whatever the outcomes of such a choice would be.
Fast forward to the present and I can tell you that my relationship with my dad is probably one of the relationships that have profoundly impacted my life. It is a relationship that has taught me greatly about the power of  love and grace (having it and not having it). It is has taught me about effective communication, influence, independence, the difference between being a woman and a lady, and what strength really is. And perhaps one of the best lessons it has taught me is to be who I am…unapologetically.   
When I started Phreedum, as crazy as the idea was (no schooling in design or business, and no real financing) my dad never doubted my decision to do it. When I called in tears while at residency for my Master’s degree for Mental Health Counseling, he encouraged me to switch programs and consider an art school or an MBA program. He semi flooded my inbox with events and conferences for entrepreneurs (and still does).  He still wears on of my original Phreedum t shirts (2008 throwback).
My dad is one of the few people in my life, that when I decided to take strides toward letting go of forcing myself to be who I thought people wanted or needed me to be, encouraged me to do so and let me  just be.
I will never be one of those people who say they made it on their own.  I don’t believe anyone makes it on their own. I know that I would not be the person I am today or trying to become without a host of different people in my life, including my dad.  I may have given up on Phreedum, this blog, the interviews, and the LIVE events for women, if I didn’t have someone like my dad who NEVER once doubted my decision to start Phreedum and NEVER accused me of being “in a phase.”  My dad and I have and continue to put a lot of work into our relationship, because it’s important, because he matters, and because I matter.
I don’t have a lesson or reminder of the week this week. Wait a minute. I lie. Yes I do. Here it is. This week, take a minute to be grateful for the people in your life who let you be you.  They don’t question your passion, doubt your creativity, or think at 26 you are in extended adolescence. AND…more importantly this week make sure you are letting others be them and you give yourself permission to be who you are…unapologetically.

No comments: