Dear Dad…

Dear Dad,
There are certain things you should know about me. Firstly, I am not just your daughter, but also a separate individual. I am honoured by the fact that you have chosen to fulfill your dreams through me, but I happen to have a fertile mind that can dream on its own. And these dreams are throbbing at the back of my mind, just waiting to be realised. I admit that I have hated and loved you in equal measures, that I have not been the perfect daughter you might have wished for, that I have failed and disappointed you way too many times. Might as well be honest and also admit that I have excelled at a lot of things just to prove a point to you and not because I wanted to succeed for myself. Dad, you do not understand that safety and security are transient and temporary in one’s life. You left home at the age of twenty, all the way to another country to make a future for yourself and to support the family. I am a couple of years older than you were then, and you still hesitate to let me hang out with my friends at the nearest mall.I have never enjoyed a sleepover when all my girlfriends were having pyjama parties. I never had a chance to fool around like a regular kid because I was supposed to be busy playing nanny and setting a good example for my little sister. A few years from now, when I have children of my own, I might understand why you made all those decisions for me. I might say, “Dad, you were right after all!”. But till then, give me the space to be myself, to learn from my mistakes and to grow better through trial and error. If you keep me cosseted and tucked away, how will I learn to get up by myself when I fall? I’ve grown up to be like you; the same temper and the same indifferent and pragmatic approach to most things in life. Sometimes I believe you would have appreciated me better were I the neighbour’s kid. Maybe you are a proponent of tough love, but too much toughness can break my heart you know. I have become an individual who feels inadequate and useless most of the time, because you have told me so. I also suffer from an immense inferiority complex. I can simply choose to blame you and keep whining, but I won’t. I will not sit back and accept failure because that would mean failing you. I also refuse to be sorry for not being born a boy and crumbling your grand plans for my future in the process. It is too late for me to start singing ” Give me some sunshine, give me some rain…give me another chance, I wanna grow up once again” for I have grown beyond my years. Dear Dad, I am proud of you because you are a wonderful human being and a devoted father. It’s just that you have forgotten to give me freedom and the space to be myself. Dear Dad, it’s not too late. This is not a futile prayer for a midlife reconciliation, just a wish to let me live my life the way I want, once in a while, if that’s not too much to ask. Dear Dad, let me free, just let me be…

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