Acceptance

Dear Child(ren),

I don’t currently know what I want to talk about. I have all of these years of wisdom and so many different lessons I can teach you but, today, I remain unsure as to what I wish to discuss. That is mainly the result of being in the same place today that I was last week when I wrote the first entry. That is to say, I’m still in a state of longing for more and dreaming of something different. I’m still where I was last week because things don’t just change over the course of a couple of days. Well, some things do. Some moments happen and they last all of 5 minutes and they can change your life forever. A part of me thinks that’s what I’m waiting for. Just a 5 minute window where I can make rapid-fire decisions leading to something life changing.

Don’t wait for moments. Sure, I mean you can do that if it’s what you want but you’re risking that the moment that could have been available to you if you had just been even slightly proactive. Look at it in terms of the butterfly effect; every decision you make (or don’t make) leads to an entirely different strand of possibilities for your future. There is, in this sense, a potential that the possibility your heart is most desperately seeking will not be achieved because you did not act. While I understand that the other side of the coin states that there is actually a chance that being proactive could lead you away from the possibilities you are looking for I guess this is something you just have to trust me with. In most cases it is taking action for the things you want that will have you reach them not waiting on blind luck.

Consider this a mini pre-lesson. Be pro-active. Unless that involves asking me for money or to buy you something or to cook you something or to really do anything for you. Those actions will be wasted. Your mother and I clearly have taught you to read so we’ve done our part for you.

The real lesson for today, I think, will be acceptance.

I thought about this earlier and I debated not writing about it (at least not today) but I think it’s one of the things weighing on me the most.

We live in a world where more and more people are being accepted and this is so awesome. One of the bigger issues dividing the people of North America is a bathroom law for the trans community. I’m not going into right or wrong here because I hope, with what you know about me and with what I say in this article, you will know I fully endorse rights being given to all types of people no matter the difference between myself and them. What I want to say in regards to this law is that it’s awesome that this is such a heated issue.

Yes, I think it would be more awesome if it was resolved in favour of the trans community and their rights but I think it’s awesome that this is even something that is up for debate because it means that there are more people now than ever before that accept that lifestyle choice, they support it so much that they want to fight any law that infringes on their human rights. This is something that 10, maybe 5, maybe even 2 years ago wouldn’t have even been thought of as an argument. The world is changing and this means that different beliefs are not just being tolerated but accepted and endorsed, different lifestyles being treated more equally with those being the first to be open about their lifestyle being lauded as brave and as a hero by many. Is it perfect? Ha. Far from it. We’ve still got quite a long road before we reach a true equality and it may never happen because people will also hold different beliefs, but it’s progress and that’s such an amazing thing.

Now, my lesson here isn’t specifically regarding accepting people of different religions or orientations or ethnicities or anything else, I’m hopeful that this is something you’ve been learning from us your entire life. What I want to teach you here in this blog (and this may change, I don’t know) is lessons to help you in your times of heartache and confusion where you don’t feel like anyone understands you. On that note, today’s lesson is accepting yourself when it feels like no one else does.

We live in a time, as I said, where more and more different beliefs, values, and lifestyles are being accepted and this is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean that everyone you come across in your life is going to accept you.

Maybe you are a tougher person (or people) than I am, but not being accepted can cause you to doubt yourself and it can hurt. You’re going to grow up and you are going to find that you develop a personality along with a wide array of interests that makes you unique. Many people will love that about you and they will find all of the reasons in the world to praise you and support you in what you do and in who you are, but some will not. Some will not understand and they will judge you and they will think that there is something “off” with you. When they say that, or think it, what they really mean is to replace the word “off”, which is more politically correct, with wrong.

I’ll give you context why this has come up in my life right now.

I love Disney. If this comes as a surprise to you, I’m glad we’ve finally crossed this barrier of familial bonding.

Anyway, I love Disney and some people don’t understand this. They think that I should have grown up by now. They think that I’m not well-adjusted or that I’m completely immature. The worst of them think that this would indicate that my orientation is different than what I claim it is, the people that believe that have a problem with a great many other things and are not very open-minded to a lot of things in the world.

My point is people see an adult man who loves Disney to the point that he wants to travel there at some point every year and they think that there is something wrong.

Now, I want to be fair to these people, they may not think there is anything wrong with me and they may simply not understand why an adult would be this way. The sad truth is that as you grow up you are instilled with cynicism and bitterness. This sounds like I am saying every single person is cynical and bitter but that’s not it at all. The truth is, once you stop being a child and you become a teenager you start to see what people call ‘reality’ which is the stuff you read of in the news, you learn of crime, you learn of heartache and depression. You learn of all of the terrible things in the world. Once you are exposed to the bad parts of the world you are naturally instilled with some degree of bitterness and cynicism because you see that the world isn’t the same fantasyland you were able to so easily believe it was as a child.

The people who don’t understand your Dad are the people who have succumbed to believing that being an ‘adult’ means that you have to grow out of enjoyment for things that represent fantasy and silliness and magic and dreams. They believe that adults don’t care for such silly things as daydreams when there is a very real world out there. The truth is I am more submerged than a great many people in the real world. I work for the police so, naturally, I see all of the bad things out there on a daily basis. Maybe that has a part to play in why re-establishing my childlike innocence is so important to me. Maybe it isn’t though. Maybe the truth is that when people say things like “you need to grow up” they firmly believe in something that I just do not, that maturity is defined as an adult who likes what is socially considered adult things and behaves in a manner that is deemed, socially, as an adult.

I don’t believe that it makes you less of a person to embrace any part of you that rings true to you. I don’t believe that wanting to be fun and silly and to daydreams is wrong for adults to do. I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with adults loving childlike things such as Disney. One day I will make a full post as to what Disney represents to me and maybe that will make my stance on why it is so important to me even clearer. For now, I simply want to talk about acceptance.

People have made comments to me that made it quite clear that being honest with them about my interests and my personality would result in judgement. These comments have weighed on me, as much as I believe these people simply don’t understand things the way I do, and they have hurt my feelings. I am a sensitive person and I am the last to hide it, but this is an area I am ashamed of myself for being so afraid. I don’t want to raise you to believe that you should be afraid to be honest with people that think differently than you. I want you to be so proud of yourself and so accepting of yourself that when someone says something that seems judgemental you can proudly answer them honestly without fear. I want you to be more than I am currently.

It is something I am working on the more I get to understand myself. The more I know what it is that makes me tick the more I want to stop being embarrassed of myself because I honestly don’t believe I have anything to be embarrassed of. I know why I am the way I am and the only thing about it I regret is that I am not embracing it even more.

Some day you will run into someone making you feel badly about yourself and what you believe in or what you like or something else entirely. Don’t ever be ashamed of yourself or think that there is something wrong with you.

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.

Listen to the good Dr. and be proud of that fact. You are you and the people in this world that really matter will always love you no matter what choices you make. Be yourself and be who it takes to make you happy. That’s all a parent could ask for.

Love Always,

Dad

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