Although I usually talk about my daughter as I am directly her father, I myself am also a son and I do have a father myself. My upbringing and having God in my life has defined how I am around people, in particular different types of men. Growing up, I was raised around a copious amount of women. My dad who left my family when I was ten months old (Read more about him in this previously published post), so I was immediately immersed into a world where there were barely any male influences or male role models in my life. And this was overcompensated by women being in my life and making up for that loss. That feminine energy was everywhere and it has shown itself in the way I interact with different types of women and men, my own personality, the way I carry myself in life and of course how I am with my wife and daughter.
I can count on one hand the amount of positive influential men I had around me. My grandfather and my best friend Randy Lewis (who is also Lily’s godfather). However, my granddad didn’t really influence my life until I was maybe 7-8 years old, and Randy wasn’t in my life until I was 13 years old so there was an almighty gap from my baby years until both of those times where I had no male influence. I may have been a boy but I didn’t really feel like it or own it.
Being raised around my mother, aunts, family friends, ex-girlfriends and many other women, it truly shaped me into who I am today. All they showed me was love, care and support. They showed me how to be open, observant and attentive. They listened and advised me and that taught me to do that to others regardless of who they are. I gave respect to them and that manifested with everyone else I now encounter (well, I try my best). I took on all sorts of feminine qualities, morals, values, beliefs and emotions. But this has really made me deal with men very differently. I look for friends who are open, supportive, loving, caring with a bit of femininity like me. Anyone who has a real strong alpha male mentality doesn’t usually end up as a really close friend or influence in my life. They freak me out. Cavemen types like that make me crawl into my shell, I am scared to open up to them or to speak out around them. They boss me around (especially the older ones) and I just pander to their every need, trying to gain respect and recognition from them. I am like that sometimes with my father in law, but I get on really well with him because he’s a great man, we have a good friendship and common ground (we both love his daughter and want the best for her and would do anything to make sure that happens), and we’ve worked really hard on keeping our bond tight. My upbringing around women has made me into that kind of fearful person. It’s something that I am always trying hard to work on.
Even though it sounds like at times I may have regret, I really don’t. I’m just happy that I’ve had the journey that I’ve had and that it has made me who I am right now. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I ideally would have loved to have had more male energy around me but that wasn’t what was intended for me. I accept and acknowledge that. I am so proud of who I am. These qualities have made me into a mighty husband, an outstanding friend and a potentially great father. Looking back on my life and my childhood truly emphasises the way that I want to give my daughter Lily two things I never had – a two-parent family that exudes love for one another and for her, and a constant male energy that will influence her in a positive way in addition to God’s influence. Being a father is like shining a mirror on yourself, your life, your experiences, your fears and your flaws – and it really makes you confront them. There’s no way to hide. I thank God for giving me the honour of being a dad and allowing me to see aspects like this. I’m just happy I have a lot of good open positive male influences in my life at the moment – they keep me grounded.