I called my dad crying.
This happens VERY rarely because 1.) I don’t like to be vulnerable and 2). I don’t think he’d understand.
Growing up, my dad would make fun of my sister and I whenever we got angry or cried. He’d make a sour pucker face and say, “Sooo emotional!.” It was usually pretty funny, but that – coupled with the fact that my dad is a 70-year old Chinese man who I’ve never seen shed a tear – led me to believe that the guy has zero compassion.
I called anyway. He picked up the phone and in my cracking, sobbing, 31-year old voice I said, “Hi dad.” He said, “It’s early in the morning, what are you crying for?.” I spoke two sentences. He said, “You know why you feel that way?,” and proceeded to tell me exactly why I felt that way. Then he said, “You know what you need to do?,” and gave me advice that only a person who’s known me for 31 years could give. He didn’t ask a single question; he knew EXACTLY what would make me feel better, and I learned that he knew because it’s what he does when he’s felt in the same funk. Then he said, “So after you hang up the phone, get in shower, get ready, and go do it.”
I felt better. Then he said, “Call me anytime. This hotline is open to you 24 hours per day.” I managed to laugh.
Often I forget that when I talk to my dad (and I mean I’m vulnerable and REALLY talk to him), he understands 100%. I knew at that moment that my day was going to be fine.