A conversation with Dad

The weirdest thing happened yesterday.

Work was a bitch. I would prefer not to declare such negativity and considered changing that to a less crude thought. But, it just makes more sense to call it like it is.

The end of the work day was still far as my senior and I packed up to leave client site. We were going back to our hotel to pick back up.

As we packed, I felt this urge, a longing, an aching. I wanted to talk to my dad. If you know me, you know — that is the weirdest thing.

A part of me wanted to tell him how hard work was, how draining it was to be at a place where I existed to make money and help with living costs. A part of me was looking for his approval to leave the job, for him to say Yes, do your thing. And a part of me just wanted to talk. Just talk.

That’s the weirdest thing.

We arrived at the hotel, got to the lobby, and without much thought, I said, I’m going on a drive. I turned around, key in hand, backpack slung over my shoulder, thermos with the rest of the day’s water sloshing, and retraced my steps to the rental car.

I didn’t know where I was going — I just needed to go. And to be honest, I didn’t connect the desire to drive with wanting to talk with dad. I just needed to drive. It was when I pulled out of the parking lot, I realized, this would be a good time to call. Lol. Definitely not the brightest crayon in the box at that time of day.

I called — went straight to voicemail. Oh well.

He called back immediately.

“Where are you?”

“Phoenix. How are you?”

And then we participated in a conversation. Over phone.

It was the weirdest thing.

Having a conversation itself was not weird. When we hang out, we get into some good stuff — philosophy, life’s questions, the future, character, etc.

It was the fact that we were talking on the phone. Because that means it was intentional. I missed my dad. Out of the all the people I wanted to talk to at the end of a day that makes me say, Work was a bitch, I wanted to hear his voice.

As we talked, I let go of the idea of telling him about wanting to quit. I let go of the agenda to see what he thought, his approval, his reaction. I let go. And I enjoyed. I enjoyed the 42 minutes tethered to my phone talking about my heart, the lessons I’ve learned recently, my dreams. I listened to his responses and let go of my expectations — what I wanted to hear. I let him be and I let myself be.

I had found myself at a Target and wandered inside still talking. The world didn’t exist at that moment. I strolled through the grocery aisles aimlessly, not even pretending to look at anything. I should probably have just found a chair in the home department and chilled for a sec.

As I headed back to the hotel, he said he had to go — he was meeting someone. The way he explained that he needed to go because he had kept them waiting while talking to me told me he valued our conversation and he wanted me to know — without saying it.

“It was good hearing your voice. I enjoyed this — let’s maybe talk tomorrow.”

My thoughts mirrored his words. I said Yeah that sounds good, and hung up.

As I drove back, I felt a peace. Not because I said what I wanted to say, or heard what I wanted to hear. Neither really happened haha. It was an understanding that some things can’t be replicated. To be able to have a conversation and talk like friends with my dad is a deeply satisfying thing. I never expected it, it wasn’t on my mind, but the moment I experienced it, I knew I hit gold and I knew how important it was for me to continue and build on this and enjoy.

For some, this is elementary. They talk to their mom or dad very easily and often. At 27, I’m still working on that. Or, I didn’t even know, but my heart and soul wanted it. And it got it.

Thanks, Dad. Even though you shoot me down sometimes and speak like you’re on the verge of lecturing me, thanks. Listening to you talk and, almost more importantly, listening to you listen makes a difference. You won’t see this, so I feel like an idiot writing this. Maybe I’ll let you know when we talk later tonight.

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