Aww, the sound of colorful gun powder blowing up in the air! A day that seventeen years ago, fundamentally changed me as a man. The fourth of July is a day of celebration, for many it’s a day to recognize the independence our country got. To me, it’s the day that my oldest child gains another year of life on this earth.
Let me take you back into time, before I really needed to go on the weight loss journey, before I turned into the man that people know today. As a matter of fact let me take you back to the year 2000….
At this point in my life, I was separated from my soon to be annulled significant other. Sure, we’re only married for 6 months, but my experiences with her makes her a significant part of my life. I had been in my new job, at the time for just over a month. We’re seeing more money than ever, but her problem was that I was always gone out of town for work.
A good part of my job was the fact that I got to work with my father. This was a great experience, because I really got to know him, and bound with him with the many hours on the road, going from job to job. It took us from this small town to places like Bakersfield, Ca, which wasn’t really a stretch, but it took us to Seattle, Wa and Denver, Co. See, this is were the ex was having problems, and needless to say we ended up splitting up after all was said and done.
One of the things that I didn’t completely realize at that time was that I ended up becoming broken in this abusive relationship. It was mostly verbal, and on both sides. When it was all said and done, I was a suffering in a way I couldn’t comprehend.
Sure, we tried to have kids, but the mental games that were played just didn’t help when she had told me that she “miscarried”. At this point, I was just numb to everything that she would use to try and hurt me. This incident happened on my first trip to Seattle. I had gotten a cell phone and was using it too call her. When she laid the news on me, but I didn’t feel anything since this was the umpteenth time that something like this was used to hurt me.
Court wasn’t pleasant, but afterward I had found comfort and safety in the arms of my now wife Sarah. She got with me, helped put my pieces back together, and somehow we ended up creating this wonderful child, who is both my pride and joy, and the pain in my ass. I love her though.
The good thing about Autumn is that she is a smart girl, and she doesn’t go out and make poor choices. The bad thing about Autumn is that she’s a smart girl, and has a time or two called me out on my bullshit. This can be frustrating at times, since she’s seen me at my lowest point as well.
No matter where we are in our complicated relationship of father and daughter, I will always be proud of her being my child, and I’m even more so about the woman she’s becoming and the goals that she’s setting for herself. It’s incredible to see her evolution as a person. Finding her place in this world, watching her “fan girl” over anything Disney. The child that matches me in wit and challenges me to look at my own self.
As she reaches into her seventeenth year, and starts the last leg of her high school years, I’ve been trying to think of what advice I would give her(if she reads this). Remember that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, trust your instincts. Figure out what you truly want to do with your life. Go with your instincts. I spent too much of my life listening to what other’s thought would be best, and it took me too long to go for what my heart desired.
I love you, yes I know you think I have to say that because I’m your dad, but it’s true. I have you and your brother, and you two are the most important people to me. You’ve filled my life and helped to give it purpose. I’m sorry that I haven’t always been the best dad, there’s no instructions on how to be spot on every time. Know that even in my darkest of times, I’ve always wanted the best for you.
So with that, I wish my kid a happy seventeenth birthday, and will be happy to celebrate it with her. This is the director, and thinking of were the hell did the time go? That’s a wrap.