4 Things I Learned from My Father

didn’t take his dad’s advice?

Monday, again.  Well, maybe you have it off in honor of our forefathers?  If so, sweet.  If not, bummer – hopefully you get a floating holiday?  Speaking of fathers, I have something I would like to share.  So, as I’ve lamented bitched about for the past few weeks, I am packing up my life and moving to Scotland to live with my husband, Luke, and it’s become an emotionally and physically taxing event.  The reason it’s so difficult is not just because I am leaving the country permanently, but because it’s made me have to face the loss of my father so much more.  For the last several years, I’ve avoided dealing with a lot of stuff (though I won’t say I haven’t made great positive strides for the most part).

I have been living with my mother since my father’s passing.  It’s been a great thing in many ways and probably a not so great thing in many ways.  The ways living with my mother has been great is we’ve become closer, we’ve offered one another support through the loss of my dad, and it’s helped both of us deal with some of our personal issues.  However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, to say the least.  I am feeling so much happiness to finally be moving over to live with my wonderful husband, but I am obviously feeling very badly about moving so far away from my mother (and the rest of my family).  It’s times like these where I really need my father and his sage words of advice to let me know that it’s okay to move on and it’s okay to be happy, but I can’t ask him.  It is times like these that I have to search my soul and hear my father inside it telling me not necessarily what I want to hear, but what I need to hear.

4 Things I Learned from My Dad

Never do anything out of obligation.” This was something I would hear time and time again from my father.  If I was whining about not wanting to do something for someone else or not attending something, he’d ask, “why are you doing it then?”  I’d usually respond, “because they expect me to” or “I don’t want them to be mad if I don’t.”  My father would always say, “doing something because you feel obligated is bullshit and 100% self-serving.  It’s also dishonest and it only makes that person feel like you truly want to do something for them, and by doing this, you’re going to be faced with it over and over again.”  I am not saying that I feel obligated to not move on with my life, but I think I’m feeling guilty and stressed about what I feel is expected of me.  Which, not one person, especially my mother, has placed this expectation on me.  I realize now that I just need to get on with it and do what I want to do for me and for my husband.

Always draw the line.  If you don’t create boundaries, people will never know they have crossed them.”  Man this is so true, right?  If we don’t say “hey! Wtf are you doing?” every now and again, we feel violated.  At least I feel violated when someone goes beyond a place that makes me feel comfortable.  I feel like this also applies to being able to take on more than you can handle.  I feel terrible that there are so many people I have not been able to see or make time for before I leave.  I feel very badly about not being able to say goodbye properly, but I can only do what I can do with the time (and money) I have at the moment.  I know that some of my friends are upset with me, but it’s not on purpose, and I feel like I can’t place more pressure on myself than I already have.  So, I have to draw the line and move on.

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”  I am a worrier.  I worry about being worried.  Though, seriously, I have legitimately battled moderate (to severe) anxiety my entire life.  However, it’s irrational, and I know it.  I worried I’d never graduate college.  I did, and made the Dean’s List.  I worried I’d never get a job.  I’ve had many.  I worried I’d never pass my Certified Personal Training exam.  It took me 20 minutes and I passed on the first try.  I thought I’d never meet the man of my dreams.  I married him in November. I worried I wouldn’t get my spouse visa to live with him.  I received it a few weeks ago.  Do you see what I’m getting at?  More importantly, DO I SEE WHAT I’M GETTING AT?  I worried myself to the point of tears and insomnia over each of these challenges I faced, and yet, it still worked out.  I absolutely do not believe for one second that my worrying “willed these things into being” — I straight up was irrational and needed to find something else to do with my time.  I’m seeing the error of my ways, for sure.

Come to terms with possessions.  It’s okay to want things and to have things, but make sure you take on a lifestyle you can afford.”  This has never been more clear to me than it has been the last several months.  After losing my job in July, I had to face the reality that I was getting married and trying to relocate on very little money.  I also have to choose between what I NEED to bring with me and what I WANT to bring with me.  In my post the other day, “How To Breakup with Your Stuff” I discussed ways to come to terms with your possessions.  This has been very therapeutic for me.  I used to constantly feel like things would fill a void in my life, and they don’t.  All “stuff” does is clutter your life, collect dust, and make it really difficult to move (around your living space and to a new one).  When I think of the money I’ve spent to try and fill this void I had, it really doesn’t do much for me.  However, that was then and this is now.  In a lot of ways, moving overseas is forcing me to downsize and appreciate what I do have, while also limiting how much stuff I continue to accumulate.  This will be good for my mind AND my wallet.

So even though my father has been gone for over three years, I can still call upon him when I need him most.  Just writing this post out has made me feel better and helped me to place his wisdom into action.

Now to move on with my week!  I hope you’re all having a great Monday and have a wonderful week ahead!

Who do you call upon for advice when you need it most?  What do you feel is your best piece of advice that you give to others?

Spread the good word!


  1. February 16, 2015 / 6:36 pm

    That’s some great advice! Those are some things that I didn’t learn until just a few years ago, so Im glad you were able to hear them for so long.

  2. Erin
    February 17, 2015 / 12:20 am

    Thanks, Erin! My dad really was one of the most amazing people ever. It is very comforting to know that I can still reap the benefits of his wisdom without him physically still being here! 🙂

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