I’d like to phone a friend
When I was 25, my father died. He had pancreatic cancer and from date of diagnosis until he passed away, it was a brief three months. One day there was snow on the ground and he was telling me it was going to be ok, then spring was here and he was gone.
My relationship with my father was not your typical father/daughter one. My parents divorced when I was 18 months old so I have literally no memories of us as a “family.” At least not in the traditional sense. What I do have in terms of memories are many many dinner dates, family vacations and phone calls.
My Dad and I loved to talk on the phone. We would speak almost every day. I would tell him about my day, and get his advice on things. Both avid movie lovers, we would talk about what was in the theater and our thoughts on the latest film we had both seen. (Incidentally, later in life we didn’t live close to each other but loved going to the movies at mid day, we would go in our respective towns and catch up later.) We also would sit on the phone playing simultaneous Jeopardy.
For months after he died, I would pick up the phone to call him only to remember that he wasn’t there to pick up.
My dad was my buddy and my friend. But he was also a tough guy with high expectations. Upon my graduation from college, he put significant pressure on me to join the family business. He thought I would be a “rain maker” and be a power player in the world of office furniture. I was not. I was miserable at sales but thrived in project management. But I hated being the Boss’s kid and wanted to do something else with my life.
I was afraid to tell my father. And then he died.
A year after his death, with the blessings of my wonderful stepmother who ran the business, I left to forge my own path in life. It was a windy road with several twists and detours along the way but I finally found my calling as a Health Coach and feel so satisfied and honored by the work I now do.
But I am consumed with wondering if my Dad is proud of me. I question whether or not he would have supported me in my professional quest, or in my move across the country. I want nothing more then to pick up the phone, dial his number and talk to him. I think he would have loved it. I think he would be honored to know that I followed in his entrepreneurial footsteps. I think he would have been so pleased that I have chosen a career of working with and empowering people.
I’m almost 37 and I’m still seeking my father’s validation.
We all seek validation from others. Our children look to us to validate their behaviors. We turn to our friends to validate our outfits, or hairstyle. We seek out business mentors to validate our executive decisions.But the most important person to whom you must seek validation from is ourselves.
If we do not love ourselves, honor ourselves, respect ourselves and believe in ourselves, we will never accomplish or fully release the power which we hold inside. It sounds so silly, so easy and yet I constantly meet people who are trying to measure up to other people’s expectation of them.
It’s time to stop. Let’s do this together. Let’s be proud of who we are IN THIS MOMENT. We are all works in progress. As for me, I’m still going to miss my Dad and want to talk to him. But I’m going to try to discuss the latest movie instead.
To learn more about validating and empowering yourself, I offer a free health consultation. You can find me at www.roslynwellness.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; www.facebook.com/roslynwellness and on Twitter @courtneyabrams
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.