Fathers Day and the Gift My Father Gave Me

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”
– Amy Poehler

Those words of wisdom may have come from the lovely and funny Miss Poehler but this is a lesson I have been learning firsthand for most of my life just by watching my dad. It doesn’t matter how many years go by, he never fails to have a good time, even if that involves making a fool out of himself in front of a bunch of people. In fact, he seems to relish in that. I’ve watched him jump onto the stage at dinner theatre, mix it up with some Disney characters, and be a real hambone with a turkey leg.

Sorry about that, I figured a Father’s Day post was the place for a dad joke or two.

My dad’s I don’t give a fuck attitude is something I have long aspired to grow into. As someone who has struggled with her self image for a long time, being reminded that it doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you’re having fun has been a really important lesson. It’s helped me loosen up a bit and to shed pieces of my Type A personality that have kept me from enjoying myself at times just because other people were watching. Over the years I have become more willing to look silly and to just have fun no matter what but it’s a lesson that often needs repeating and being around my dad helps with that.

I think it’s kind of great the way that parents inadvertently teach us things just through their behaviour. To shamelessly be yourself is a lesson that I think most people need to learn at some point in their lives. It is easier for some than it is for others and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong or abnormal about struggling with yourself at times, as long as you positively work through that. Some days you just need to straighten your shoulders and reminder yourself that you’re amazing no matter where you’re at at that moment or what other people think.

Basically, learn to love yourself as much as Gaston and my dad love themselves.

Despite the fact that I was a theatre kid, I still used to shy away from being pulled up on stage or singled out by performers in any way. I used to dread the moments that actors would come into the audience and find kids to interact with because I was afraid of how I looked to everyone watching.From watching my dad I’ve learnt that looking silly should be the least of my worries. While those anxieties still bubble up from time to time, I feel I’m much more relaxed about those kind of things now. Secondhand embarrassment is still a thing but mostly I’ve learned to laugh it all off or join in the fun.

So try to not worry too much about what other people will say or think, don’t worry about how something makes you look if you enjoy doing it. Feel free to post silly pictures and to show those not so serious moments off to the people around you. Maybe the pictures aren’t the most traditionally flattering but they show you having fun and they’ll help preserve that memory for hard days to come. Please, just don’t take yourself too seriously.

I hope you all have someone in your life who isn’t afraid to just let go and let loose. I hope you’re able to laugh along with them and get a little silly yourself. As for me, well I’m thankful that I have a goofy, fun, ridiculous dad to look up to and to imitate. My life would not be quite as humorous without him.

Finally, to all the dads in your lives, from the ones who have been around from the beginning, to the ones who have stepped in partway through, and the ones we wish were still here: Happy Father’s Day.

 

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