“You can find the
flaws in anything,” said
man who finds flaws in me more readily than anybody else I know.
Despite this, it's my favorite criticism on my character
I've ever been given because it is so profoundly true, so
obvious yet overlooked. You see this facet of me clear as day
while failing to understand most everything else about me, and
perhaps that's what makes the frank observation so
So, Dad, I'll hand it to you: I am shrewd, I am nitpicky. I
pull things apart with my eyes and my mind. I'm not easygoing
or complacent. I see how things are and how they can be improved,
and it drives you crazy because you don't want to look that
long and hard at what's right in front of you. Giving it a
nod of approval is easier. I appreciate your honest assessment of
this difference between us.
What I like less is how, too preoccupied with vilifying me at any
given opportunity for my high standards of work and material
objects, you never acknowledge my softer, more accepting policy
on human beings. I do not ridicule imperfections in people, but
love and celebrate them. I put aside my frenzied analyzations and
sometimes peer through rose-colored lenses.
Maybe you don't want to talk about this part of me because
it's gotten me into trouble a time or two, and you don't
want to think about the pain it's caused me. Maybe you're
just too busy wanting to tone down the harsher half of me, that
constantly pushes me to create bigger and better things, even
though having a sharp head on my shoulders won't crush me
like having a heart of gold hang heavily in my chest. One day
these opposing pieces coexisting side by side might rip me apart,
and I think that possibility scares you so you're trying to
make the one meld harmoniously into the other, hammering them
down with blunt force words.
But, Dad, you have to take your own advice. You're always
telling me to let things be, let things go. Now you should do the
same for me. Let me be all that I am and let me both suffer the
consequences and reap the rewards that result. I'm still
figuring it all out, but I know for a fact that it's all
okay. Thank you for helping me to realize what, in eighteen
years, you haven't yet yourself. I love you.