Thought Catalog
June 13, 2017

10 Things I Had To Figure Out Without A Father

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Sara Rolin

There’s a holiday coming up. As a paid writer, it was not a surprise that I would write branded posts geared towards Father’s Day. I sat at my computer for thirty minutes and researched the topic to get an understanding of the content I would be publishing. I finally landed on something semi-catchy and ran with it.

“As we grow older we realize the value of parental presence. This is the person who taught you to swim. This is the man who walked you down the aisle or maybe….”

My mind trailed off.

What if he was a she? Or non-existent? What about the rest of us who have no idea what the hell a ‘traditional dad’ actually does? Nobody taught me to swim.

I never had a father figure and every year this holiday rolls around. And every year I find myself confused—perhaps only because I feel I should be.

Adulthood is making me realize that there really isn’t anything to be confused about. I am a whole person. And instead of pissing and moaning, I thought I would take a more positive spin on my circumstances.

These are things I have learned without a father:

1. Any man that comes into your life (nice or mean) will treat you the way that you allow him to. You have to set your own standards because the world has already told him that it will bend at his feet.

2. When you plug a microwave into an outlet and it doesn’t work, don’t go and buy a different microwave. CHECK THE OTHER OUTLETS IN THE HOUSE. If you don’t, you’ll end up with two microwaves.

3. Changing a tire is really hard if you’re a small person with no body strength. You may even have to jump up and down for a second but it is possible.

4. To trust your partner is to trust your judgment. Don’t get into a serious relationship with anyone until you can trust yourself to pick a great person.

5. You should probably change your oil.

6. You don’t actually need two parents growing up. If you’re not an idiot, then it won’t be that hard to figure things out. You’ll make a couple of mistakes here and there, which is normal. There is no reason why you should become a statistic when you have food to eat and a roof over your head in a safe environment.

7. Marriage is not the end of all your worries. Even if you land someone wonderful, they could end up dying. And then what? That’s the most dramatic scenario ever, but it could happen. Loving someone is awesome but do not make it a life goal.

8. Being strong is not exclusive to men.

9. Walking down the aisle alone is a right of passage. You marched yourself through life. When you have found your person, you will be the one to give yourself away and that’s empowering.

10. The only person who can tell you if you have ‘Daddy Issues’ is a licensed therapist. Not Google. Not the media. And definitely not the guy you’re seeing. TC mark

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