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I’ve had a rough go of it friendship wise. Well, and family wise. My dad and i have been glued to the hip my entire life, i can soundly say he will always be the greatest best friend i’ll ever have. But as i’ve grown into an adult, my choices, ehh.. haven’t been too cool for the old man. So we’ve drifted apart for several months now. I’ve taken it badly. 

Recently, one of my childhood “best” friends was getting married. She wanted me as a bridesmaid and i went through the whole process of being that perfect bridesmaid for her. I looked like none of the other girls she asked to be her wedding. I was the only one with unnatural hair color, tattooed everywhere, and piercings. I kept telling her, its totally cool for me not to be a bridesmaid. I get very uncomfortable in those situations so having an out gave me a little relief. She assured me that she wanted me in her wedding and that if she didn’t, she wouldn’t have asked to begin with. Fast forward to the day before the wedding, she shot me a text message stating the following; “Please dye your hair for tomorrow and take out your piercings! I got you a long jacket to wear for pictures so your tattoos won’t distract and ruin my wedding pictures. Hope its okay! See you tomorrow!”

I didn’t go to the wedding, and i haven’t spoken to her since. 

I’m a concealer of all emotions. I’ll get around to crying about something that happened a decade ago. I stopped by my dad’s house to do some laundry and like every visit lately it’s met with arguments and reminders of how i’m not living to my potential. Before he could go in on me anymore, i just started crying. I’m not being dramatic about this sentence either, but i have never cried in front of my dad my entire life. It completely freaked him out. While sobbing like a crazy person, i was telling him about the wedding and how the person i worked so hard to become and the person i’m so happy about being has completely ruined all of my relationships with people and i’m not understanding why. I was one day away from reverting back to the person i hated being. 

My dad was furious. Just, pissed alllllllll the way off. At first i thought it was toward me for crying and acting like a maniac, but he was so mad at himself and the people in my life. He gripped my face and with a stern voice said,”that’s not a friend. If i were getting married tomorrow, Kyoko. I swear to you. I would not ask you to change one fucking thing about you. Nothing. You could come with a mohawk, three fucking eyeballs, and a tarantula wearing a bow tie as your date. I love you,  how DARE anybody want to change that.” 

That’s when i knew i really wasn’t a disappointment to him, and for the first time in months, i could finally breath.

All this time i thought otherwise, and that can really fucking break your heart daily. I’m not the career woman he wanted me to be. Political views we’re on opposite spectrums. Family views, out the window. Religion? It’s laughable. He raised me to be an individual and when he woke up one morning and realized that we were two different people, he got scared. Scared of the unknown of my future. He is so insanely worried that he’ll die and i’ll be this three job adult with unhireable tattoos forever. Even more so, he still can’t understand why i’ve picked this path. No matter how many conversations we have about it. 

It’s defeating and exhausting explaining how what i’m doing makes me happy. How being this person that i am right now, is a blessing. I love what i do, and i love the adventure of the unknown. That’s something i get to look forward to every day i wake up with no planned routine. No blueprint handed to me with a timeline that was written from a society that was too scared to ever be unmarried and childless.

Seeing my father, a person who followed that blueprint timeline, defend my choices and who i am gave me the ass kicking i needed to get out of the hole i was digging for myself. I’m not going to be the woman he dreamed of me becoming. But now i know, that also means he doesn’t love me any less for that. Which is something a daughter like me, really needed to hear. 

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We’re a “not giving a shit” type of family.

What people say, what people imply about me. I don’t give a shit.

One girl in my life made me cry. There I was balling my eyes out at the school nurse telling her i had an upset stomach and to call my dad to come pick me up early. I had no upset stomach, i just didn’t want to go back to a classroom that laughed at me for a solid good five minutes because one girl decided to completely humiliate me by calling me as many crude names as possible. There was no way in hell i was going to go back. 

Half an hour later my dad shows up at my school, a little annoyed for having to pick me up and leave work when we both knew we needed the money. He grabbed my backpack and threw in the bed of the truck as i hopped into the passenger seat. We sat in the parking lot in silence. He asked me plainly, “are you really sick?” I put my head down and looked out of the window and replied, “no.” He gave a deep sigh and took the keys out of the ignition. He wasn’t going to take me home, and i wasn’t going to get out. I told him what really happened, that an asshat of a girl teased me and i didn’t take it so well. At this certain moment, i’m pretty sure my dad wished he had a son rather than a daughter. He never knew how to talk to me about these situations and be sympathetic at the same time. Sympathy was an unknown emotion in our house hold. 

He thew his truck keys on top of the dashboard and said with a blunt voice, “so what?” I looked at him in rage, “what do you mean so what?!” He looked at me with a stern face and said, “so what? Someone will always be mean to you. There are a shit load of unhappy people in this world and they will make it their mission to squash every single happy person along their path. That’s life. Stop giving a shit about what people say about you and start giving a shit about what you say to yourself”. At twelve years old, hearing this coming from your dad kind of makes you feel worse. I knew what we was trying to do, but he wasn’t doing what i wanted him to do which was coddle me. And that’s exactly the lesson he was trying to teach me right then, fuck being coddled.

I sunk deeper into the seat. Nothing was going right for me and there i was being given no support. But then he hit with the question that changed my perspective. “Do you believe what she said is right? Is that why you’re upset?” I sat straight up, raised my chin and looked at my dad as if he were the enemy, as if he was that girl in class and changed my tone, “she knows nothing about me! She is more than wrong!” My dad started to smirk, “thats my girl,” he said proudly while grabbing the keys from the truck to start the ignition. “If you know who you are, if you’re confident in knowing who you are, what people perceive and say about you in a negative way doesn’t matter. Because we don’t give a shit about what people say. We’re a not giving a shit type of family, you hear me?” I shook my head in confirmation.

"So what do you want to do? I can drop you off at home with your Oba or you can tell the nurse you were feeling better" he said while both of stared out the window into bus filled parking lot. I looked at him and took the same deep sigh he released earlier to this conversation and said, "i don’t give a shit." I hopped out the truck, grabbed my backpack from the back and started walking toward my school. I got half way up the stairs when my dad rolled down the window and shouted, "you’re a great kid, no video games when you come home for cussing, love you" and drove away. 

I’ve carried that with me my entire life. I’ve carried that through bullies, relationships, friendships, and even family. If i know myself, if i know who i am and i’m okay with who i am, what people, even you, have to say about me negatively doesn’t hurt my feelings. One girl got tears from me. One, was enough. Because like my dad taught me at twelve, i’m from a “not giving a shit” type of family. And that’s saved my life plenty of times. 

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Calling dad on my lunch break

Me: what are you listening to?
Dad: No idea, your brother left the cd in my car when he borrowed it.
Me: What does it sound like?
Dad: wawawawawawawawawa
Dad: waaaaaaawaaawawawa
Dad: I think I'm getting a semi heart attack.
Me: Ah, dubstep.
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"Everyone in here looks like they have a blog"
my dad’s new insult
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While having a meaningful conversation with my dad.

Me: I just.. really don't know what i'm doing with my life. At all.
Dad: Who does?
Dad: Remember, today is never too late to be brand new.
Me: Thanks, dad :)
Dad: I think I got that from a Taylor Swift song.
Me: Moment gone.
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My fathers advice by age.

  • 2: “Be gentle, don’t hit.”
  • 5: “Don’t take candy from strangers.”
  • 6: “Don’t talk to strangers.” 
  • 10: “Star Trek is the best show you will ever watch in your life.”
  • 13: “You’ll grow into it.”
  • 15: “Boys are really stupid.” 
  • 16: “Don’t do drugs. If you feel like rebelling and still want to experiment against my wishes AND YOU KNOW YOU’LL BE GROUNDED FOR, do it with someone you know.”
  • 18: “Don’t come home tatted, pierced, mohawk, and pregnant.”
  • 19: “Well, at least you’re not pregnant.” 
  • 21: “You’re still growing up, don’t rush it.” 
  • 24: “Spraying your clothes with Fabreez is not considered ‘washing’ your clothes.”
  • 26: “Google it.” 
  • 27: “Don’t pee in a restroom area where you can’t tweet, that means they have shitty cellphone service and if somebody tries to kill you you’ll have no bars to call for help.” 

Talk to me