I’ve got baggage. Loads of baggage. Soggy broken promises overflowing out of my closet and an assortment of emotions from the gifts that never arrived type baggage. Hard. core. shxt.
But today, I finally write.
Today, I speak my truth.
I’ve been holding onto this one for a while. You all weren’t ready. Wait, why am I lying? Okay it was all me. (As you can see I like to use you all as my scapegoat quite often, sue me.) I wasn’t ready. Afraid of the people- you people- knowing the other side of me. The uneasy side of perfect little Ki. Want me to sweat? Come to an uncomfortable squirm? Hell, cry even? Bring him up.
Now before you think that I’m one of those, I know my father. We hold conversation every so often, phone and text. Tell you the truth, he makes the best savory ribs you’ve ever eaten and he even makes me laugh. A genuine hearty laugh. A realist. A potty mouth. A pretty cool dude. But damn, the father hood thing… not much positive to say.
I’ve got baggage. For as long as I can remember, I held him down. When my family joked and jeered about the lies I held on to, I refused to believe them. A feisty nine year old, screaming at the top of my lungs that this cool dude would come through. He never came. Here we are years later and I’m in my twenties still clenching on to all the daddy-daughter dances I 1)didn’t want to attend 2)had to attend because my mama said so 3)attended with a cousin because Daddy wasn’t there. Oh, do you know he forgot my high school graduation? The nerve, right?! I know. I was Best All Around and all. Nada. I moved off to college unappreciative of every ounce of his being because in my eyes, I didn’t exist to him so why should he to me.
Listen, I’ve got baggage. Picture this: English Major. Non-Fiction writing workshop class circa 2012. The toughest time of my life. At least top 5. Each student had to write about a topic that the professor gave us. No backing out, no warning. My teacher thought she knew us. People had to write about their religion, how yoga keeps them sane, how the color of their skin plays a role in their life. The easy stuff. Me? “Kiandra, I challenge you to explore your innermost feelings and write about how your broken relationship with your Dad plays a role in both the positive and unstable sides of your relationships with male lovers.” Girl what. I stared at a blank page for a week straight, not because I didn’t know, but I just didn’t want to explain. I’d rather avoid. I reached out to her telling her that I would be unable to complete the assignment and she simply said, “I know it’s tough. This is why you must do it.”
It all made sense, I loved hard on the guys I took interest in because my male figure didn’t really love that hard on me. Plus I’m a leo, whatever that means. Whenever a guy started showing interest and being nice, I pushed him away because I knew it would all come to a crumbling end. Like our tainted relationship. Lies told by any man had them immediately on my list of “No Return” and promises meant nothing. I was sour. I was bitter. I wrote and poured all those feelings out, realizing not how much damage my father caused, but how much energy I had given to something that was beyond my control. I had caused myself to be damaged. It’s not damage at all, it was all building blocks to strength.
But….my baggage is getting a little lighter. You see, he’s been doing this turn around lately. It’s weird. He’s been trying to play a role in my life, my decisions, my cooking. Now I know you’re probably saying this should be perfect. “This is what you’ve been wanting forever!”. We have just one problem- me. This was what I once wanted. I have a guard up now, I do. I was so vulnerable and had my love thrown back in my face so many times, it’s like I’ve forgotten how to unapologetically love him again. Forgotten how to wholeheartedly forgive. I’m a pretty tough cookie, right up until this.
Here’s when I wrap it up before I start to tear up.
Today’s Keyword: assuage /əˈswāj/ (v.): make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense.
My feelings about this topic are pretty intense. Laughter assuages convos such as these. Honestly, even writing this (and that talk with my mama) has assuaged a few ill feelings that weighed heavily on my heart prior to. Sometimes as a writer, I write for me. See, there’s a beauty in being stingy and releasing your inner feelings simply for you. It helps the healing process. And sometimes helps someone else along the way. As I get older, I have learned that it’s not fair to myself to hold on to any grudges. Only blessings being blocked are my own. If you are going through a similar situation, remember that.
I recently finished Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and it has sparked a light within. Every obstacle that makes me nervous, I’ve decided to tackle and commit to. Trying to live fearlessly this go round. I want to tackle this rift in our relationship, but I have to be open. I’ve been invited to visit my father next month. I’m going to push through and go. Half of me feels obligated, the younger me still on the inside slightly seeks change.But it starts with me and my baggage.
We all have baggage; however, baggage does not define us. Define me. I define me. And me? Im working on loving, forgiving, understanding.Thank you Mom. Thank you, Professor. Thank you, Heart.
Thank you, Dad.
Had to get that off my chest. I’m healing, not healed.
A Daddy-daughter relationship is,