Back in the day (my day), people went to great lengths searching to ‘find themselves’.
I loved and admired my father. If I ever envied him, it was because he never had to ‘find’ himself. He knew who he was, and he was who he was, regardless of who he may have been dealing with at any particular time.
My father was a very quiet, peaceful man. I spent a lot of time with him and I remember him losing his temper with someone else ONCE! My parents owned a service station/autobody shop. My siblings and I pumped gas from the time we could reach the gas nozzle. One day, my father was busy in the back of the shop when a customer pulled in. He was a big man (at least 6′-6″ and 250 lbs). He owned one of the most successful retail businesses in town and was no doubt on the town council and Chamber of Commerce. I ran out to pump his gas. I was tiny, probably about six years old. This big man got out of his vehicle, stepped around it, and stood behind me. I did not notice he had a lit cigarette in his hand. My father stepped out of the shop. He noticed! He yelled at the man to get away from me and he went up one side of him and down the other for half a block. My father was 4′-10″ and 130lbs. If I had not been so shocked at his outburst, I would probably have found the entire incident hysterically funny. The customer obviously did not, but I never saw him smoke another cigarette in his life. He did remain a loyal customer.
At the other end of the spectrum, my class was making graduation plans. We had to choose a business person to make a toast to the graduating class. I was surprised when one of my classmates nominated my father. When I asked why, he said because my father treated everyone in town with the same respect and consideration – everyone including the teenagers in my class. It did not matter to my father who you were, he knew who he was, and he acted accordingly.
I was not like my father when it came to knowing and being myself. I blame him. 😂 To the very end, on his deathbed and while I was pushing forty, my father would introduce me as ‘our baby’. To be fair, six kids in, he probably forgot my name by the time the ink dried on my birth certificate.
During this past year of seclusion, or reclusion as the case may be, I have been ‘finding myself’. I have found myself, learned to like and accept myself.
The interesting part of this journey, is that while I have been finding myself, I have learned to accept others as they are. They do not have to agree with me or validate my views, and I can accept them as they are and respect their views – even if I disagree with them.
I don’t know if this is a new level of maturity or self confidence, but I am in a good place. A peaceful place. I am ready to quit searching and just be – me!
Have a nice day and stay safe! 💞