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The Father Daughter Dance Debacle

Lately Facebook has given me a peek into something I do not know. Friends often post pictures with their father, a birthday dinner or some other family occasion, but this post from a friend was a little different. It was a paper with a whole page of songs that her father had written down, name and artist, to choose from for their father daughter dance. A dance I do not think they shared, as he passed away. Witnessing the thought, diligence, and care put into this list brings tears to my eyes. Seeing the amount of love this man has for his daughter is incredible. The songs he chose were absolutely beautiful, and truly showed that he saw her as a precious gift from God that he was delighted to dance with. It moves me.

I will most likely walk down my own aisle alone, and I have learned to be content with that should the time ever come. I will not dance, but I will gratefully invite my, currently pretend, husband to please share a dance with his mother, to laugh, whisper memories, and the profound disbelief that she is giving her little boy to this woman because they both deserve it. We all deserve that dance. For some of us, it won’t happen. We may not have a father to do this for us. We may not even know what it is like to dance with our father. We may be strong in that moment knowing that we have done all we can for our highest good, and that dance, that walk, and that love simply were not meant for us. We may not be cherished by them, but we have learned to cherish ourselves. We have learned to accept the love we deserve, and we do our best to patch up the hole left behind.

I was afraid of that hole. I was willing to give up committing to a partner for life because I was afraid, not of marriage, but of disappointment. What if he didn’t show up? What if he doesn’t want to? What if she doesn’t want him to? What if it’s awkward? Should someone who doesn’t even know you give you away? What are they giving then? What do you say to each other while you’re dancing? All of these thoughts have absolutely nothing to do with choosing to love one person unconditionally for the rest of your life, but they clouded my view. Thankfully, knowing that there are such great men, such great fathers, gives me hope. My father has done many things for people. He is a helping hand to a lot of people. It has taken me a long time to realize, there is nothing I can do to make him choose to give me his time. He gives abundantly to whom he believes in, and that is to be respected. I respect him. I have just also learned to respect myself. I cannot expect someone who knows nothing about me to write a whole page of songs to dance with me, but that doesn’t make either one of us a lesser person. It is simply the life we are leading. I would be lying if I said it was not an almost daily decision not to cry or be angry about it anymore, to fully let it go, but I had two choices. I could spend the rest of my life reaching out to someone who doesn’t reach back or I could learn to patch up the hole.

I choose to cry happy tears when I see fathers and daughters happy and loving together. I choose to hope the heart of my lovely friend heals from losing the physical love of her lost parent. I choose to let the fact that this love exists, even if not for me, fill the hole. It is an unconditional and undying love. It is a gift. I hope you all cherish each moment with these men who see only love when they look at you. You are blessed more than I hope you ever know or find out.

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Sanctuary, I mean January…

Here we are, January 1, 2015. Looking back is something I do my best not to do too much of these days, but I find myself thinking about something today. Coming into 2014, I was in such a different place. I had moved to a new city that was my old speed. I was thankful to be there again. Yet, I was fearful for my life. Having read all of the articles that said teeth could lead to death, heart disease, and so many other things I felt desperate to fix them. I felt like a failure for being unable to come right back up from my accident. I had no car, no money, and no hope to recover my health. So, I determined that I would become a dancer when I moved back here. I would be a scantily clad companion/therapist for lonely men and women. It would save me, I kept telling myself. Nobody can help you, but you. Nobody has to do anything for you. Nobody owes you anything. You are the only person who has a reason to pay for this. You have to find a way. I was using thought processes meant to encourage to beat my soul into submission. I let my ego run rampant. Fear and desperation almost always lead to acting from our mind, not our heart. The thing is, I spent most all of my savings getting here. It would literally break me to invest in this job. I did it anyway. I didn’t want to die is all I could think. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to save myself. I told my friends, some family, and Mom because I wasn’t ashamed. I was trying to be brave. I was trying to sacrifice my soul to gain back what I lost in the physical. I will say when a doctor tells you, you have a ticking time bomb in your mouth, you can go a little crazy. I still made a very conscious decision. I found a place, and I went into audition. I was shaking, positively vibrating with nerves. I got through it as a true novice, and even managed to be accepted. I started that night. It only took three shifts for my body to fill with dread. Other women may be able to thrive in this environment, but that is not my story. Thankfully, a kindred spirit did her best to help me, and in the end, unintentionally saved me from continuing to make a mistake. I had to put the fear of death and disease down. I had to accept that I was not where I wanted to be. I had to believe I could find a better way. That was December. Entering 2014, I put my faith in God and myself. I had hair to do, babies to sit, and I could pay all my bills. I am coming up on two years since the crash, and living with these teeth and no car has changed my perception so much. They have taught me how to face insecurity. They have taught me how to live, and to let go of the burdens of that which cannot be changed. I am more considerate, less judgmental, and more understanding. For this, I am extremely grateful. When I look back, and I remember how convinced I was, I do my best to apply it to my understanding of perception. We see what we need to see to survive our psyche, to win the war with fear or submit to it. I know I am less fearful for everyday I live this way. I know I am stronger. I still worry occasionally, but I can put it down now. Sometimes, the hardest things, the dumbest things, and the saddest things are what foster the best in us. They force us to choose who we are, and what we are willing to accept. They are what allow us to be accepting and unconditionally loving. It is the darkness that allows the light to shine after all. Coming in to 2015, I know I am willing to do healthy and positive things to continue on this path, to let things come together at the right speed, and to look at life in the moment because life isn’t worth it if you are afraid to live it.