Why Dads Are So Important

dad, dads, children, daughter, family, try, best, emptiness, best, share, world, ready, late, to, forgive, past, missed, survive, survived, characters, never, best, lucky, why, safe, sacrifice, daddy, important, why, role model, male, gender, present, absentFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. Some have one dad, some have two and some have none. Friends can sometimes become family and family are not always necessarily friends. I love all families and know many people have grown up with a lot of love while others had to grow up without it and do it fast.

I love listening to different stories about people’s upbringings because it provides a sense of context for their character. Some people choose to own their past as part of their framework, while others denounce it altogether and continually fight it.

I own my past, and my past and present consist of having a dad. Not just your average dad, literally the best dad. I know a lot of people say this, but I know I am right. He was and is always present in my life.

He was that dad that always meddled. The dad that met with all my teachers. The dad that was never really asleep at night because he wanted to make sure his family was safe at all times. The dad who sacrificed his everything for his family to live well. The dad who shared nothing about his job while he was home. The dad that read me a book every single night. The dad that was (and is still) the great Saint Nick every Christmas.

It hurts me when I hear some people never had a dad. Maybe it’s not even a dad they needed, but overall support and unconditional love from a good role model.

I am all about gender equality, but there is something to be said about male role models in general. They provide a certain sense of security and love I can’t really compare to anything else.

Either way, I want to thank all those dads out there who did and continue to do their best. Those dads that work overtime just to keep their family comfortable. Those dads that save up all their retirement money to help their children buy a house. Those dads who do homework with their kids even after a rough day at work. Those dads that put gas in their kid’s car. Those dads who look at their children like they are their biggest accomplishments. Those dads who adopted other people’s children as their own. Those dads who thought they weren’t ready for fatherhood but later realized it was actually their life calling.

And to those Dads who couldn’t or just weren’t ready to be present for their children: It is never too late. No matter the age, your kids needs you. No matter the circumstance, your kids will forgive you.

What I really want to let you know is that you missed out. Yes, you missed out on watching your children flourish. And although this is true, just know that most of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. Even if you didn’t, I have talked to your children. The void is still there and is still waiting to be filled. Yes, you might have seemed essential to their lives at some point but they survived without you. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know who they became without you?

I always had a dad so I can’t speak for every circumstance, but I do know that there is a large number of people who grew up without a dad or anything resembling one. This made many people stronger and others a lot weaker. Whatever the case, I really hope more dads try to reach out to their estranged children and never stop.

I got lucky, but I still feel for those that feel an emptiness within their hearts. I wish I could just share my dad with the entire world but that goes hand in hand with my desire for world peace. Dads are important, if you happen to have kids, try your best to be one. You don’t have to be the very best dad, but at least try to be there.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why Looks Do Matter

looks, matter, different, first impression, love, judge, prejudice, accept, belong, appearance, physicalI was always the girl who wanted to fit in. By age 9, I already had boobs and all the other stuff that comes along with puberty. I thought I was a freak. I wrapped my chest as tightly as I could before school just so no one could tell that I was a curvy “woman” attending the fourth grade.

I was tall and awkward most of my life and, well, that’s an entirely different story. The point is, I never wanted to be different. I just wanted to enjoy my childhood which translated into blending in rather than standing out.

I can’t lie. I am still awkward. My friends eventually caught up with me by middle school but my mentality never really changed. I am still not the skinny girl or the smartest girl and that is just fine. However, one dramatic transformation has taken place within me as a 20-something. I love myself as is. I accept I am different and I love every inch that I am.

People can tell us that image isn’t everything. We grow up being taught that we need to love people’s substance rather than looks, yet we talk about things like “love at first sight.”

I try to not judge people upon first glance. The little awkward girl inside of me remembers what it is like to be “different” so I do my best to make all of those around me feel like they belong. As humans, of course we all belong and deserve the same respect as the next person. And while this is true, image does matter in our society.

People will judge us if we have a unicorn tattoo on our face. People will make preconceived notions about us based upon our appearance. Of course, I am not saying this is right, as I am guilty of doing much the same. I can’t help call it like I see it.

I always give people a chance to prove or disprove what I believe about them upon first glance. I think this is the best course of action. But guess what? Looks do matter, a lot.

I am not happy our society focuses on looks but it does. I know people looked at me differently when I had bright red hair. I know people stare if any cleavage is present. The teenage me would say f it. Be yourself! The 20-something me knows better.

I try to look put together and consistent everyday. Not because society told me to, but because people in my “world” like consistent and dependable people. I don’t follow fashion trends, yet I always try to keep my look classic and timeless.

My younger sister would say I’m conforming to societal norms. Maybe I am a sellout! However you want to look at it, I am choosing to not stand out by what I look like on the outside. I don’t want to be loud or obnoxious by the clothes I wear or the hairdo I rock. I can be loud and obnoxious with my personality alone, haha.

I believe intelligence and wisdom can drown out the rest of the noise. Image will always be a factor in our everyday lives. It is up to us what we do with this fact.

Let’s open our hearts and place prejudices in our pockets upon meeting new people. Let’s try to look into hearts rather than into cars or clothing brands. Let’s try to just see with the heart even though our eyes and thought patterns tend to get in the way. And while our physical bodies do offer first impressions of who we are, let’s remember they are just vessels.

Some of our vessels are louder or more put together than others, yet we are all on this journey we call life together. Let’s try to make everyone around us feel as much love and understanding as possible when we encounter them. Physical appearance can get lost in translation, yet love will always be universal. Choose love not looks.