Monday, November 10, 2008

Driving Dad Crazy

Azra's awesome post, Paternal Instinct's, about her dad got me thinking about my own sweet, volatile, and fluid relationship with my dad. We all start out with that typical daddy's girl virtue of life. And having come full circle, we do indeed return to take that place with full conviction. And in so far as dads are concerned, I dont think they ever imagine that we ventured away from that place. But then we're all not typical I suppose :/

Seriously though. Dad's are our ready made heroes. They do the impossible, with gritted teeth we never get to see, they save kittens from daring heights to the eyes of our four-year-old beings and take us to see grand wonder's like pavements full of pigeons. And they're armed with necessities like packets of breadcrumbs for such occasions, I might add.

They also cheer us on when we set our sights on reaching goals. But in asserting our identities, they feel afraid for us, I imagine. They wonder, if their little girls' grand enthusiasms will outlast a world of meanness and strife. They transfer their fears of a life lived hard onto a blank canvas and look carefully at it, wondering if those tainted hues will bleaken the clear vision of that sparkle that they see in their daughters' eyes. They're heroes, sure. But they're real softies when it comes to their little girls. And in all their good intentions, they're a little bewildered when their little girls show a feisty stubbornness to hold onto airy fairy dreams in the hope that these will stay afloat on the stormy ocean of the adult world. Dad was. He thought I should enter the health profession. I thought not (with all due respect to health professionals!). He supported my decision. I did undergrad architecture. Three years of it. And that was it. My post highschool stint was done. This was only the beginning for me. Then came the candy store! And I was the doe-eyed kid. A Bachelor of Arts. With Psychology, Sociology, English, African Lit, Classical Civilizations, Applied Ethics, International Relations, Politics, Philosophy... I may have skipped a few electives, but I was wowed by the options. And I delved in with much glee. Dad was concerned. Talents wasted, he said. And how will you survive? I did. In fact, I thrived!

I joined the corporate world soon after my MA. Writing continued. Blogging began. I travelled. I grew. But I yearned for something more. This was only an interim place to be. And dad was happy. I was learning responsible things, he said. I was making strides, meeting people, and carving out some bits of life.

I am a writer. This makes me happy.

He still is, too. Because now, he sees me. He really sees me. The little girl me. The creative me. The corporate me. The daughter me. The sociologist me. The writer me. The every me. All his dreams for me are me. And more than that, I also see me. I see him, too. And I see me in him. And him in me.

The beauty about relationships that heal and mend and make us who we are, is that they are wonderfully (and often surprisingly) evolutionary in nature. It takes an open awareness. A realisation. And a heart of compassion. Thats about it.


Azra said...

Aaawww...this was beautiful...I can relate to the "disappointment" of not taking a more "viable" career option. My Dad wanted me to be a Surgeon or Accountant, but it just wasn't who I was. He seems happy and proud of where I am now (or so everyone else says because he brags too much)...but thats all we ever want really...that little girl inside always looking for Daddy's approval :)

I think its difficult for any kid to realise that your parents are human and mortal. We put them on pedestals from a young age because thats all we really know...and then to find that they are fallible too...devastation. But we survive it, come out better for it and really truely lern to appeciate our parents for who they are...and not what we expect them to be.

KimyaShafinaaz said...

lol.. thanks azra... i was truly inspired by what you wrote... that and the fact that my relationship with my dad has vascilated between being so many things: daughter, friend, student and colleague even. and now its an amalgamation of sorts.
so much is defined by this. i am only just beginning to see it! :)

Anonymous said...

This was amazing to read!


qk said...

A lovely, sweet read :) You've made me home-sick now. My dad and I have always been really close, with a few ups and downs, but that's inevitable about all relationships, like you said.

I also think that if we leave that "old school" mentality of severity behind, we realise that respect goes both ways: good parents don't just demand it from their kids, they also give it too.

Muhammad Wasif Javed said...

What a beautiful post to begin the day with :)
Jazak-al-ALLAH-al-Khair For Sharing! :)