My Dad

A life time of achievements, challenges and brave tales to tell. Yet until recently these tales had been something I was not aware of. For years me and this person did not have the closest relationship as teenage tantrums and old fashioned values clashed frequently. Once a relationship has become spoilt in this way, the ability to rebuild this can be challenges since the memories and perception of the person is forever in the mind. To change this opinion sometimes takes something great, something almost spectacular to see that person in a different light.

Its ironic since the relationship I had with this person when I was a child was a bond like no other. ´Inseparable´ is the word I often hear when people describe our relationship. Which is why for years the troubled relationship upset those that had seen it all so different in the past.

A teenagers mind is filled with curiosity, worries and confusion for which road to take in life. A vision of ones parents at this age is that life began when ´I´ was born. Further thoughts in to the possibility of a life before children is not comprehendable in the mind of a teenager. For this reason, to take advice, see things for possible other reasons other than ´this person just wants to stop me ever having fun´ is also a hard concept to grasp.

However, although it is easy to make mistakes as a teenager, these are often then forgot about and dealt with as ´a silly teenage phase´. However, for me, this seemed to last longer than this. For years this upset me along with those closest to me, my family. Each day I would hope for the relationship to change, yet nothing seemed to make things better.

After taking the decision to change my life and start to live independently in a new country with a whole host of challenges awaiting me, i realized that things in my life would change along with the relationships I have with my family. However, in my pre-thoughts, I in-visioned this distance having negative impacts on my relationships since I would not see, speak or be in direct contact with my loved ones. How could this be better? However, I was so wrong.

In the first months of being in Barcelona, there were many times I came close to breaking down and challenges I never thought I would have experienced. When living in England, my parents were always there to help. I didn´t need to worry about money, important things. I knew everything would always be ok. This wasn´t the case here. I was in a new country without any family and in these early stages of my new life here, without many friends also. For the first time in my life things were all ´on me´.

The constant voice in my ear ´don´t sell your car in case it goes wrong and you come back Sal´ reminded me, he doesn´t think I am capable of creating this new life i´ve talked about. Although this may sound a negative way of thinking, I saw this as my opportunity. My opportunity to finally prove that I can do this and hopefully create a new perspective of myself in the eyes of this person. Repair the damaged images that so many teenage mistakes had created and how these mistakes had ruined the beautiful relationship we once shared. How I longed for this back for so many years. Could achieving something great finally make this person believe in me again?

To finally hear with my own ears after so many years ´I am so proud of you Sal, I really didn´t think you could do it, but you did!´ brought me to tears and constantly repeats in my ears whenever I feel something is getting too tough.

With this new found faith, communication then started to improve from both ends. I was finally realizing and understanding the challenges of managing my life, my money, my living expenses and all the tasks that came with organizing my daily life. Understanding the advice and reasons for suggestions and to consider all options then became clearer to me since this was to prevent me from falling into difficult situations that would inevitably create more stress and worries in my life that at some point would also need resolving.

However, the belief that I also had opinions and justifiable opinions now also became more acceptable to this person and with the combination of a new appreciation for one anthers perspectives also became more valued.

I now see this person in a whole new light. We are so similar. We worry over little things when sometimes we should just relax! We are both silly and have contagious smiles. If this person smiles at me or pulls a silly face, no matter what mood im in, I can´t help but laugh back.

Since improving our relationship, I have now become more curious as to the previous life that actually does exist! (The life before children) ;). And I now also share such proudness for the achievements this person has had. The passion to follow his hobby and strive for the best in this throughout his life. The different countries he has seen and experiences he has had.

We share an appreciation for music, the endorphins sport can offer, beautiful scenery and views and the simple pleasures of life. We are curious of the world, timid at times but once we open up and feel comfortable in a situation we can be the silliest in the group!

After many years wasted with the problems in our relationship, I am finally so happy that we now see each other in a new light and appreciate each other for our similarities, opinions, experiences and differences. To understand that we have both dealt with big challenges in our life and can be proud of one another for how we have both come through these. We are tough Kemp´s and we can learn a lot from one another if only we give each other the chance. We have both now given each other a second chance and for this I am so happy.

This amazing person is my Dad.

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