"Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves." - Walter Anderson
Every now and then, I'll get a text message from my dad. I have to believe that at some point, it won't feel so foreign. There will come a day when I'll see his name come up on my phone, and not only will it not freak me out, but I won't really care. One day it will be normal.
Up until 2 months ago, the idea of my dad was just that: an idea. He didn't have a face, or a voice, or a personality. He was just this ethereal idea that I could imagine, and mis-imagine as much as I wanted to. He wasn't "real". Fast-forward to today, (today is actually Friday, Jan. 12. That's right, I post-date these!!) and I get a message from him asking my address. At Thanksgiving, I'd received texts from both my father and brother. I know that it's a good thing. I know this is what I've wanted since I was a little kid, but it's not easy.
While I realize that this is what I asked for by way of reaching out, I don't know how this relationship is supposed to work. There's no book on how to meet your father for the first time. I know this because I've checked. It feels like at this point, there are no right or wrong answers. All that's left to do is take whatever the next step is.
As I'm writing this, I just got a call from him. I didn't answer. I couldn't. I realize I opened this door, but I don't know how far I'm willing to walk through it yet. All I can do is try and take it one step at a time. I don't know what our relationship will look like in a year, but I think much of it will depend on my own ability to be honest with how I'm feeling. My motto right now is "everything good comes from honesty", and that all starts with being honest with myself first.
I'm going to call him back.