My father once told me when I was young that I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I remember exactly where I was standing when I heard those words. I remember the circumstances. I remember the feelings.
I never told him then what I thought about his words, though I had a lot of thoughts on that idea. After many years, my thoughts became clearer.
The men I have dated and/or chosen throughout my life were not all shining examples of what fathers would want their daughters to date or choose. Growing up, my father had many synonyms; though ‘Gazoola Bird’ and ‘Hairball’ were used most often. You see, my father didn’t swear when I was growing up, nor did he use vulgarities in his vocabulary. I heard him say the word ‘piss’ once when I was a teenager. Maybe it was a result of his chosen vocabulary that he used creativity to express his disdain, I’m not sure.
There were quite a few ‘Gazoola Birds’.
I often wondered if I saw what he did not. But there is another angle to it.
He is not so unlike most of them.
I wrote a story once about how I judge all other men on the value I hold of my father. And to some, this may seem… judgmental. Perhaps. I try very hard to remain without judgment, but truth be told, as a human being – I question if that is possible. Most human judgment lies in human error, a lack of understanding many angles. And we often criticize what we do not understand. Even I am guilty of this, but that is a story for another day.
I have heard the stories of his youth. I would not be surprised to learn that other fathers were leery of him dating their daughters when he was young.
I have heard the stories from others, I have been a witness to mistakes, and yet to me he remains a diamond in the rough. Some see this. Others do not. Perhaps it is what we choose to see.
I have known many diamonds in the rough. To see beyond a rough exterior and search a heart is not always easy, but I do find worth within.
I disagreed with his statement so many years ago.
I was looking for love in many places, but I don’t believe they were in all the wrong places. I was trying to understand what love was. Many touched my life and contributed to my learning and understanding of what it is and what it is not. I have chosen some that others considered unworthy. And yet, I wanted to understand why. What makes one more worthy than another? Who casts the ‘worthiness’? If I saw what another did not, did that make it untrue? Who among us can decide worthiness?
I went on my own journey to understand what love was. It’s not always been a pretty road, but it did give many lessons and a lot of understanding. And honestly, I don’t believe I am done understanding this. I believe love is a life-long lesson.
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