*Anyone else get the irony in the fact that my first real post in ages is about being constant?
I got some very thought-provoking advice on Saturday night from a friend of a friend and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. TheBoy and I were at our friend's house for a surprise 60th birthday party and after having known this woman for roughly 11 minutes and giving a (very) brief description of my relationship with my father she looked right at me and said "you can't control anyone else's actions but your own, so just remain constant."
What I had been telling her, and my friend, was how my father has once again had some sort of come to Jesus moment and remembered he has a daughter out there. The man is actually borderline stalking me on Facebook. He sent me a friend request about a month ago or so and, as I have so far left his request in the never-ending limbo of "pending", he's taken to sending me e-mail messages through Facebook every couple of days or so.
I must confess, once or twice I did reply to him. I know that only encourages him but... he's half my DNA y'all! So my dilemma is whether I should give in and accept his friend request on Facebook and once again try and build some sort of relationship with this man or do I stick to my original plan (which has been working quite nicely) to ignore his existence via the ostrich head-in-sand method? What to do, what to do...
On one hand I'm cynical and jaded and we've freaking been in this exact same place a couple other times already and I always end up with hurt feelings and a bruised heart. Not to mention that after the last time I swore up and down that I'd never, NEVER, have anything to do with the man again. But. There is always a "but" isn't there? But somewhere, deep down, hidden very well, is a tee-tiny voice that whispers "what if something happens and you never get the chance to make amends?" What if indeed.
"You can't control anyone else's actions but your own, so just remain constant."
Remain constant. Honestly I am always going to have some sort of feelings for this man. Whether its sadness at his absence, anger at his unwillingness to think he's in any way to blame for our lack of relationship or wistfulness at the idea of having an actual father... Its useless to try and pretend that I have zero feelings for him, even if he is all but a stranger. I think that is the reason that what this woman said to me really struck a chord. Because I can be constant in my feelings for or about him and at the same time accept him for his faults and know that sometimes he'll be around and sometimes he'll be gone.
At least I think I can. Maybe.
Its just... in the last year or so I've really been trying hard to stop giving other people control of my happiness. I chose my attitude, I'm the only one who should have that power. And I've always said that at the end of your life you'll always regret the things you didn't do, more than the things you did. Life is too short for regret right? What if this IS the last chance I'll ever get to try and get to know the man who is responsible for my fat, rosy cheeks or my love of the water or my thick head of hair? I'm not sure if I'll regret letting Jim back into my life... But I'm fairly sure I'll regret it if I never get another shot. I don't like to wonder what if.
So in the car on the way home from the party Saturday night I made up my mind to accept my father's friend request on Facebook and let him into my life again and see what happens. I even went online that night and looked at the pending friend request, leaving my mouse hovering directly in between "confirm" and "ignore" for several minutes before giving up and going to bed. In fact, the entire time I have been writing this entry I've had another tab open to my Facebook homepage... but for whatever reason I haven't been able to bring myself to hit confirm.
Maybe it takes some time to settle into this whole being constant thing?