It’s funny. Growing up, I never considered my dad to be the “intellectual type.” He’s the physical labor, dirt-under-the-nails, salt of the earth, work-alongside-not-bark-orders sort of guy. I now realize intellectual doesn’t always mean suit-and-tie, but I give my younger self a break in terms of my dichotomous thought process.
Anyway, it turns out my dad’s voice is one from my childhood I hear a lot. Because damn, the man gives sage advice. The three I come back to most include…
(1) Pay attention. It’s the only thing in life that’s free. (I would not be who I am if not for him *constantly* saying this. I used to laugh, but always took it to heart.)
(2) It’s all about staging. (He can maneuver a semi like nobody’s business.)
(3) Don’t lie. Just don’t do it. When you lie, you have to lie again. And again. And again. And again. And pretty soon, the lies grow so intense, so crazy…your entire life becomes a lie because you have to keep lying your way out of your other lies. And that is exhausting to keep up and really hard to remember. And even scarier, you actually start to believe your own bologna. So, as hard as it might be, just be honest. Take responsibility. The truth will come out and you’ll wish you would have told it from the start.
I put that last one in my own words because it was part of a bigger conversation we had at the dinner table when I was probably 6 or 7. I’d never actually seen Pinocchio, but I remember imagining my nose growing long as my dad talked to me and Emily. Memories are a funny thing, yeah?
All that to say, I think on these words a lot lately. And I’m glad my dad chose to impart them on us girls when he did. They stuck. And always will.