He had come to the city and we were catching up over dinner...it felt so good because I don't get to see him that often these days.
He was telling me about the dogs, Rika, Florida, his plans for the future, his health. Then he started asking me the questions he always does...about my friends, my life, my heart, my sisters, the grandkids, the city...
I was poking at my chicken while I talked...my dad was sipping on his coffee.
Then he asked me about where I was taking my business. And as I rarely lack for dreams and ideas, I spent the next few minutes sharing every and all of them...but somehow, the longer I talked the more it lead to me apologizing and calling them crazy. It was as if I was trying to catch all these thoughts with a butterfly net and nail them down to a spreadsheet in order to prove their validity. But I couldn't...they kept flying away from me and I found them to sound very silly.
Finally, I just said, "I don't know Daddy. Sometimes I ask myself 'What am I doing?' I wonder if I should move home and work for State Farm again...some place with a retirement plan and good benefits."
He sat there for a couple seconds til I looked at him...he was looking at me...like really looking. And then he said something I won't forget. He said,
...But you have a dream, right?"
"And what is that?"
"I want to keep being creative...I love that."
"Well then...that's the right thing to do."
I don't know if he'll ever truly know what that meant to me.
I sat in that moment and thought, "I love that I have a dad that just said that to me."
My dad is a success by anyone's standard, and he'd have the right to tell me to do as he did. But he doesn't...not because he's patronizing me...but because I know that his biggest disappointment would be if his daughter quit dreaming and she quit trying.
Most days, I'm an adult. I'm a business owner. I make it or break it on my own. I've developed a tougher skin than I had 5 years ago...and I don't talk about my fears that often. But he let me be his daughter and I felt like a little girl in the best way...he told me I could do it, and I believed him.
Daddy, I just wanted to publicly thank you for having my back, for pushing me when I want to retreat, and for reminding me that dreams were meant to be chased. You're right...I DO have a dream...and like you said, it's the right thing to do.