One thing about virtual travel, you can come back “home” whenever you need to. And today, I needed to step away from my virtual vacation and talk baggage. Not bags that are filled with fun souvenirs picked up from virtual travels abroad. No, this is baggage of the emotional kind. I want to talk about how I got my personal baggage unpacked to the point where they came in under the 50 lb. limit; how I learned to “pack light”.
(this next bit won’t immediately seem to fit, but give it a few sentences. you’ll see how it ties together with the opening paragraph)
Having written all of that to say, today is Father’s Day. If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you may have guessed, I have “dad” issues. A full set of the finest Hartman in the tweed fabric. Inside it are all the issues that can come from a single parent upbringing in which my father was not quite absent. Had he dropped out of my life completely there might have been a point of coming to grips, of closure. I might have been able to put the bags down for good at some point, or at least been left with just a cute over night bag on my shoulder. But because he misted in and out; did things for his later families that he’d never done for us (my mom, sister, and I); and then finding out why my mom and dad divorced in the first place; his getting married again (and again) as a surprise; oh, and the behavior he exhibited toward me as I got older…etc. Because of all of that I grew to carry a crazy load of bags, from an over-nighter to an expandable traveler – all of it jam-packed with fears of abandonment, the feeling that I wasn’t “worth” a man’s honest love, attention, care. Toss in trust issues, being unable to express my feelings (well, mom actually gave me that), and the ever popular drive to get people to “like” me (also know as chronic people pleasing). I’d been lugging all
of that around, making a right mess of relationships when I show up on people’s doorsteps looking desperate and if I were planning on staying FOREVER.
Deciding to write, to embrace my passion and pursue my purpose in life was not an easy decision but one that set me on a path; one that I more than likely would have taken a lot sooner had I not been bogged down with all that baggage. But here I am now. I’ve experienced a TREMENDOUS amount of personal growing since this year began and you can see it in my writing, my focus, my decision-making. Sharing my trials and triumphs with my readers through my writing has been a most load lightening experience.
My father passed away, leaving me with one last issue I may never be rid of. We weren’t able to reconcile our lack of relationship; I didn’t get a chance to tell him how I felt, or ask him if the reason he didn’t seem to want me was because he really didn’t want me, or if he was just carrying baggage of his own which made it impossible for him to BE the dad I wanted or needed. Whatever. I wrote it through my system (ie unpacked) in my latest book, Hello Diva, and thanks to
reader feed back so far, I’m confident that issue won’t ever need more space than the small outside pocket on the carry on.
In a round about way, I have my father to thank for giving me the issues I use as the nectar which nourishes my muse, and from which my personalities (a.k.a – my main characters) were born. I love my dad, I miss my dad. I thank my dad for without him, this writer would have never been born. Happy Father’s Day.