Eight days into 2018

The first few days of 2018 have been absolutely insane. I turned 24, I officially moved to a new city, I saved a man from a fire, I’ve got those “new year goals” underway and I’ve witnessed the environment reach negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I know, Happy New Year to me!

To be quite honest, it hasn’t been all that bad. Actually, it’s been really great. I’ll give you a quick synopsis of each point above.

Turning 24

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Yeah. 24. I’ve been living on this Earth for over 24 years. I’ve seen and done a lot over these past few years alone and I’m just starting to see where my light is heading. I’m started to fully grasp the direction I should be heading in. It doesn’t mean I understand where exactly this light is heading or why I’m going this way but I feel moving in forward. 2017 made me have so many “Ah-ha” moments, I’ve had some of my largest revelations. After having those moments, I’ve looked at life in a complete different focus and point of view. “Her dreams went out the door when she turned 24,” from the hit song “1985” by Bowling for Soup is quickly proving to be quite accurate. Because the dreams I had at 23 are certainly not the dreams I have going into my 24th year. And I hope those dreams keep changing and happening.

Moving to a new city

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I’M IN BUFFALO! On Dec. 30, I packed up almost all my things from my parent’s house in Ithaca, NY, and traveled 121 miles West to Buffalo: “An All America City.” And yes, that is the sign that welcomes those on the New York State Thruway into the city. All my things are slowly and surely settling into place in my apartment. It’s spacious, tons of storage, great water pressure, (literally) seconds away from everything in town and an array of stores that can’t be found in Ithaca. I’ve been living here for almost a week and the things I miss the most are (in this order:) my dog, my family and friends, the local restaurants and Ithaca’s natural beauty. I started the job hunt and I am optimistic that the city will lead me to a job and money in the bank!

Saving a man from a fire

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Yes, I did help save a man in a fire. And yes, Wonder Woman captures how I feel looking back on that moment. During the second night of 2018 my mom and I were playing cards at our dining room table when I was about to stare aimlessly outside the window, at what I thought would be my reflection, turned out to be a fire starting on my neighbor’s porch. I yelled out, “FIRE!”, to my mom, running towards the phone to dial 9-1-1. A trembling in my chest lingered as I waited until an operator answered, my mom rushing out to her car to drive across the street (our house sits back ways from the road) to save anyone who was in the house. I ran up to the top of our driveway and just watched. The smell of debris flew through the air, the clouds of smoke filled the sky, and the illuminating light of yellow and orange colors pierced though me. A man is going to see 2018 because my mom and I saved him. An honor of a lifetime.

New Year, new goals

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I’m not one for the whole, “New Year, new me” mentality. In actuality, the “new” entails new beginnings, new adventures, new experiences. We should be continuing to change and grow as humans. That’s an inevitable part of life, change, but the change we endure shouldn’t make us into necessarily “new” people. We’re just discovering who we’re meant to be in every moment of our lives. I’m also not prone to keeping goals; I’m ambitious and capable of a lot of things and unfortunately, keeping goals is one I’m just not capable of (yet.) So that’s why, in 2018, I am going to be keeping some goals. I don’t find them out of reach or one’s I won’t be able to keep throughout the next 357 days remaining in 2018.

  • Use a planner every day/week
  • Plan a trip for 2018 and 2019
  • Save $5,500
  • Read at least 20 books
  • Experience more theatre
  • See my student loans under $30,000 (or as close to that as possible)
  • Live a healthier lifestyle
  • Blog more (I bought a domain, I should use it more.)
  • Take a photography class (and pursue photography more in general)
  • Live life with more fulfillment

Negative 20 degree Fahrenheit

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Shit was cold. It was crazy insane. Yeah, that’s all I got on the weather. Buffalo weather is really cold and changes almost as much as the weather changes in Ithaca.

So with 2018 settling in on all of us, I hope to find this year with lots of successes, failures, lessons, goals, changes and experiences. From the classic musical written by the late Jonathan Larson, “Rent:” “It’s gonna be a happy New Year.”

Journey(ing) to the past

The past and future are two of the scariest places in the world. The past is unchangeable and the future is unpredictable. Every choice we make determines the next step into the future.

Over 10 years ago I moved from the little town of Salem, NH, to Ithaca, NY, when I was 13. From eighth to eleventh grade I visited Salem almost every other weekend in order see my father. When I entered my senior year I stopped going as often; I think I went once a month, if that. Once I entered college in the fall of 2012, the first time I went back was the summer of 2015. Now in 2017 I’ve been back to Salem twice in less than five months.

The first time was an impromptu visit for my family’s 4th of July party and then from Nov. 22 to 26, my family and I celebrated Thanksgiving and my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration in the 603. It was a great four days in my least favorite place in the world.

I never thought it would become a place I’d hate going to. My whole family, immediate and extended, are there and that’s what continues to bring me back but it’s not my first choice as a vacation destination.

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On a whim, I decided to drive around town to see if either schools I attended were open that Saturday of our holiday weekend. To my surprise, the middle school was.

I contemplated going in, my chest trembling as I starred at the unchanged brick facade. I popped in my headphones, took a deep breath in and made my way through the metal doors. The entire time I walked around the halls where my sixth and seventh teams were, I was listening to “Waving through a Window” from the hit-musical “Dear Evan Hansen” on repeat. I’ve loved that song since the soundtrack to the show was released but it never resonated with me until I walked around Woodbury Middle School 10 years later.

On the outside, always looking in
Will I ever be more than I’ve always been?

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Even though I am a changed person, a better person than who I was at 13 years old, I retracted to the person I was, instead of the person I have become, as I walked those halls.

I saw the lockers I had in sixth and seventh grade with vivid images of where my peers stood gathered around each day, where I was pushed, shoved and ridiculed on a daily basis, the (new) parking lot where I was blamed for defending myself from a bully and later became suspended from school.

I walked through the cafeteria and sat at the exact table in front of the vending machines where a group of boys yelled and flipped me off for no reason every single day those two years, the place where I got gum thrown in my hair before first period one morning, the library where I had to work with my worst enemy to be made in my entire life, that same library where I threw a Twinkie in a boy’s face after the same group of boys made fat noises at me at the end of a school day. I remember which classrooms I was sexually harassed in and the names of the boys who did it even when I said, “No.”

I remember so distinctly standing emotionless outside the counselor’s office where I told two people I couldn’t forgive them for bullying me after a teacher gave a report about the bullying happening to me each day.

I even remember crying at my computer screen over the Myspace profile someone made of me with a picture from environmental camp in seventh grade with a blue background with little Twinkies embedded where I read everyone’s true opinions of me.

When you’re falling in a forest and there’s nobody around
Do you ever really crash, or even make a sound?

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10 years later I remember the names of all who tormented me, who made me feel like I was nothing and those who witnessed what was happening but decided to say nothing. I didn’t want to be saved, I wanted the burning hell that encompassed me on a daily basis to die. I wanted someone to listen. I needed someone to believe me.

10 years later I knew I had to go back to my roots to fully understand the growth and accomplishments I have made since moving to Ithaca and finally talk about what happened to me growing up.

Because thank God, I have changed. I got out of the town that made me feel like I was a something instead of a somebody, an easy target to the people I grew up with. I left the town, the people and the school administration that was inevitably going to make me fail. I am so incredibly happy I became a new person the minute I stepped onto Ithaca soil.

I’ve learned to slam on the brake
Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of me.

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I developed proper social skills and made friends, I had teachers willing to help me in my classes, I wasn’t being bullied anymore, I fell absolutely in love with (musical) theatre, I graduated high school with high honors, I became a leader in college, I found my voice and I graduated college with two bachelor’s degrees. If I didn’t leave I wouldn’t have experienced all that I have and met those who built me back up from the black ashes of the people who tore me down.

I might always be the fat girl who didn’t have any friends growing up in Salem, NH. I might always have the connotation of being an immature bitch, the naive girl who had no where to sit during lunch, the girl who was shamed for trying to be someone, the girl everyone threw to the side like a piece of garbage. Maybe that will always be the image for those who knew me 10 years ago.

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But here are words I hope you read, from the woman who you can know now, 10 years later:

We’ve all changed. I am certainly not the same person I was back in the day and I hope you aren’t, too. I hope you’re well and I hope our paths cross again in our lives. I hope we can talk, catch up on our life endeavors.

Anyways, thank you. Truly. Thank you for making me realize what pure happiness feels like after knowing what complete humiliation entails. Thank you for breaking me down just to be brought back up by those who only wanted to see me succeed. Thank you for teaching me about character and good judgement for those who pass by in my life. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a friend, kindness and understanding. Thank you for showing me that, “Even if you’ve always been that barely-in-the-background kind of [girl], you still matter.

Thank you for making me the confident, takes no BS, compassionate, empathetic and badass woman I am today. Without you, I would have never gained the courage to leave, stay in Ithaca, “step out of the sun” and experience the beautiful second chance at life I was meant to live.

And yes, I forgive you. I forgive you for whatever you did, no matter how shitty it was. I tell you this in print and I would say it verbally. But please know I can’t forget what happened, I will be remember that part of my narrative vividly for as long as I live. You might not have meant it then or you might have thought it was cool because everyone else was doing it but those words and actions stick, even 10 years later.

My body is none of your business

I’m fat. I have a lot of fat on my body. I’ve had all this fat since I six years old. I have always had bigger arms, bigger legs, a rounder stomach that most people growing up in elementary school, middle school and high school didn’t have. I’ve heard every negative word to my face, online and behind my back at least five times a day in school growing up. I’ve heard I need to go on this diet, that diet, lose this much weight, I will be better off when I am thinner or a man will desire me if I am thinner. I could fill an entire novel based on every single negative comment someone – a stranger, bully or family member – has said about my body and weight.

I’m going to be 24 in December and it’s taken me the last five to six years to start learning to unlearn all the negative bullshit I’ve been told about my body and self-image in order to accept my space, literal and figurative, in this world.

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There is this stigma in society that if you’re fat, have a lot fat or are not in the ideal body weight of your age and height, then you’re unhealthy. I’m going to debunk that right here, right now.

Body weight is not a sole factor in determining whether you are healthy or not. Body weight does not determine your happiness or worth.

There are plenty of people on this Earth who exercise regularly (or not) and eat healthy who are not a size two or four,  There are also people who have never exercised in their life, eat like garbage, who have a thinner set and are absolutely unhealthy.

So here I am, I am going to tell you what it’s like being a woman with a lot of fat on her body. We’re going to talk about that exercise life first.

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I love working out. I love the atmosphere of a good gym and getting a killer workout in during my day. I love doing some mean cardio and spending most of my times in front of the mirror working on free-weights or on the various machines. I have recently increased my weights in the 50-80 on various arm machines, 100-140 on leg machines and free weights I am around 15-20 lbs. I get stupidly happy when I realize a lower weight is too easy for me. I love sweating because it makes me know that my body is working hard.

Some people don’t like working out and that’s okay. Not everyone has to like it but I am someone who does. Second point I’m going to move onto is eating.

I eat absolutely horrible. I do, I eat like garbage. But I don’t drink soda and to be quite honest, I don’t eat sweets all the time. I do enjoy a mean spinach-based salad, fruit and not processed food, truly, but greens are definitely not my choice.

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When I first moved to Ithaca I went to this one dentist in town and asked me point blank, “How much soda do you drink per day?” with a nice sexist gesture towards my body. *Cue Jim Halpert camera stare* Because if you’re fat, you automatically like soda, right? Wrong.

I politely told him that I didn’t drink soda. My main form of beverage is that ice cold H20; ask any of my close friends. He couldn’t believe me and for over three years when I went to that specific practice, the hygienists and dentist asked me repeatedly about my soda consumption.

And my answer every single time was, “I don’t drink soda. Please stop asking me that.”

I have a lot of fat because I eat like garbage, not because I drink soda. I have a lot of fat on my body because my body craves sugar and starch like a smoker craves nicotine. My body is so used to those substances that it will literally go into some sort of withdrawal if I don’t give it the sugar and starch it wants. It’s hard to resist temptation, it’s more than just saying, “I’m not going to eat that.”

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I can lose weight, I’ve done it before. My freshman year of college I lost 42 pounds; since then I gained that and then some back. When I gained all that weight back I was going through a really hard time emotionally where I ate most of my feelings away. Now, I’m not in that emotional state and I am finally out of college so it’s just a matter of time to fully commit to a better lifestyle in my head.

I’m still going to work out, I’m going to watch what I eat the best I can and I’m going to make small changes in order to be better. 30% is working out, 20% is what you eat and 50% is all about mentality. If you get through that 50% worth of mentality the other 50% falls into place. I need to figure out how to successfully have that 50% positive mental state in losing weight.

I am beautiful at the weight I am now. I am happy. I am healthy. I am fine just the way I am now. My worth is not in what other people think of me but of what I think of myself. My body size is not to please or be desirable to a man but to please me. The only person who has to accept the choices made over my body is me; not you who is reading, not the boys and girls who picked on me when I was younger, not my family, not my friends, not my doctor, not my dentist. I’m not going to apologize for the space I take up because someone else is uncomfortable in it.

As I wrap this up, I will leave you with this advice: don’t comment on someone else’s appearance. Don’t assume that a person is unhealthy by the way they look. Don’t comment on what someone eats. Don’t comment on their weight. Keep your negative comments to yourself; they are not welcomed. If you do decide to comment on someone’s weight or eating choices, I promise they will call you out on it. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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PC: cmsnapshots.com

 

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 27 hours!

Have you ever tried to commit to something for an extended period of time and when you’ve actually done it, you’re impressed you even got that far? Same for me too. I’m the kind of person who becomes very particular in what I invest in. I give 100% or none at all. So during the month of November I, along with my close friends, will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short).

Apparently, this is a huge event.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days, give or take. There are no restrictions; the author can have the novel be in any genre with however many chapters and can (of course) be longer than 50,000 words. Each day you track your word count and earn badges along the way. You can chat with other writers in your area for support, help, advice and everything in between.

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Last year I took a step back from almost everything in theatre to focus on my journalism classes and writing for the school paper. I’ve gotten insanely better in just a short period of time but even though I’ve improved I can always improve. That’s how we get better, with practice and experience. That’s why I am challenging myself to write a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days.

I’ve never been a writer let alone would I picture myself participating in NaNoWriMo. English class and writing overall was never my forte in middle school, high school and even in college. Let’s put it this way; growing up I couldn’t articulate on paper a cohesive sentence. That was my reality but overtime I have battled mountains in order to get to this point as a writer.

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With all of that being said, I decided to title my young adult novel as “One Last Chance.” I’ve named my main character Jaclyn, a 22 year old college student who has survived an attempted suicide just six months prior. We will follow her journey into self-acceptance, heartbreak, devastation, triumphant victories and difficult choices as she gives her life “one last chance.” I have begun writing my prologue to this story which brings us to that moment six months ago where everything almost ended. We pick up the story to the present time as she begins her senior year.

I don’t know what direction this novel will necessarily take me even after making a rough outline. I know where I would like the story to go, which I will be keeping to myself, but realistically it might not be the same as what will ultimately be written. I am currently at 446 of this post which is already a great start; I want to have the prologue completed before Nov. 1. That’s where I am currently at with my NaNoWriMo endeavors.

My friends who inspired me to do this have really great novel ideas that they will be either writing from scratch or will be continuing further in just a few short days. No matter what, we’re committing to a 30 day challenge which we will all accomplish.

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Will my novel be good? … Maybe? I don’t know yet!

Will I become a better writer? All of the yes.

Will I reach my goal? I am sure as heck going to try.

Bring it on National Novel Writing Month!

If you’re reading this and want to be buddies on NaNoWriMo, zoedkiriazis is how you’ll find me.

Because we’re always starting over

So I am the literal worst. I graduated college, bought myself a domain and was like, “Zoe, you’re going to keep up a blog!”

Fast forward a few months later and I haven’t posted anything. It’s wicked hard when you’re trying to find a job, figuring out how to pay your student loans, pay for all the other things life has to offer, have a social life, binge watch “How I Met Your Mother” before Nov. 13, understand the meaning of life and being this scary thing called an adult. Girl, I am exhausted from just typing all of that. GAH. MER. MAH. ARGH. BLAH. AAAH!

Okay. Cleansing Breath. Hakuna Matata.

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There’s no real reason why I haven’t been writing, it just hasn’t happened. I got promoted to full time adult back in May and life has been anything but calm. I had a cool summer job at Chautauqua that brought alongside homesickness, loneliness and a lot of adventures. I worked at a summer theatre camp for two weeks and that is the last time I have been involved with theatre (excluding seeing performances). I moved back home to Ithaca in August and have been on the look out for some sort of job since while also taking care of my mom, cleaning, cooking, shopping and living the life of a 23 year-old college graduate.

No matter how neat my resume is or how articulated my cover letters are (side note: job hunt it going great, absolutely no interviews or responses), I’m still finding myself at one of life’s moments when you think you might have hit a dead end but need to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I can tell you right now that there is a light, a faded light that illuminates a pale yellow peaking out of the tiniest hole imaginable, but it’s there. I can barely see it but it still counts!

Even through all the chaos, mayhem and anxiety towards the future, a lot of great things have happened.

I’ve taken a few random adventures by myself. I’ve become more savvy in social media. I’ve witnessed my first wedding as an adult and was in one for that matter. I’ve made a few wild decisions. I’ve started to focus on myself. I’m slowly losing the “square” and “box-like” personality associations I gained during college. I’m trying to branch out from what I am so used to in order to grow.

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I’ve gained new friends, I’ve lost friends, I’m heading back towards my roots, I’m doing what I want to do and I’m putting together the pieces in a never ending puzzle while taking my life one day at a time.

I’m becoming a better me, at least I’m trying to be, but there will be more mistakes along the way, bridges to be crossed, situations to handle and adventures to be had.

Sometimes you gotta go through some tough shit to grow through it all. And sometimes that means starting over.

And starting over is just a way of life saying, “It’s time to move on.”

I was without data for 29 days and here’s what happened

Like the headline? I’ve seen many articles where the writer goes, “I’ve done this and here’s what happened,” on “Buzzfeed” or “Bustle.” Without ever realizing it, I had a situation of my own that would fit this kind of headline.

And I am here to talk about that experience.

So I was without data for 30 days. I know, the idea of a millennial without their phone having internet or connection to the whole world in the palm of their hands, literally, is a huge travesty.

Okay, I’d be lying if I told you that having no data was easy.

I just moved back to Fredonia in May for the summer and was without internet for almost four whole days. Time was going extra slow those days. I procrastinated too long and didn’t make an appointment to have people set up my internet and box. My data was going to come back onto my and my moms’ new cycle that Thursday.  I get back my allotted amount of data t

Online, Internet, Icon, Tree, Leaves, Symbols, Www, Web

hat Thursdays and not even in 24 hours did I blow through 2 GB of data.

I am one of those people. I called my mom and she nearly had a heart attack over the news.

“Zoe Dimitra Kiriazis, how the *bleep* does one go through 2 GB of data in not even a day? Kim and I don’t even go through out one gig. a month!” she said. By the sounds of it, she was impressed, clearly not angry.

“1 day down, 29 more to go. I can do it!” I said.

“What’s a month without data because you know, the only way you can get connected to the world are the limited places in town that have Wi-Fi available,” I thought.

 

The first week or so were rough. I’m not going to lie. As millennials we’ve grown with the growth, privileges and modifications that have been made in the technology industry.  I remember in elementary school when kids started getting a Razor phone; you were the cool one if you got one of the colored ones.

This was also the start of knowing how to spell words based on numbers. Although a helpful skill to have, the next advancement in phone technology came about.

Then everyone would be getting the enV and env2 which included a T8-keyboard for an easier texting experience as well as the “flipped open keyboard selfie at the bathroom mirror” trend occurred.

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Then the iPhone started making its grand appearance and presence; it was then when cell phones became the next big trend and hit.

 

I didn’t have a phone until I got to high school and I didn’t get my first smart phone until I graduated high school. Every one of my friends had a smartphone of some sort, connected to the internet and Facebook like it was no big deal. At the time I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. If it was something of dire importance, I would check when I got home.

Well, I’m afraid I don’t have that same mindset now. I have to be connected with internet to keep up with what is going on in the world, who’s posted on Instagram and to keep filter of any emails that come through. Maybe it’s the curious bud within me or maybe it’s because I’m working to become a better journalist? I’m not too sure.

And while we’re being honest with each other, I check my phone way too much; sometimes I’ll even check it when I am talking to friends deliberately.

 

It’s out of habit, my foolish need to be on my phone when this rectangle is only 5.94 x 2.86 x 0.30 in.. I don’t understand how something so small and powerful can take over someone so innocently.

Having no data to escape to, I’ve found my conversations were more meaning some. I had more to say than when I didn’t have Facebook to check every 10 seconds, when I didn’t have to play against my opponents in Yahtzee or my horoscope to check randomly. When a conversation was at an awkward pause or standstill, I didn’t have my phone to default to. I had to figure out what to say next on the fly without the deliberate pause texting or private messaging naturally brings.

Adventure, Connection, Forest, Freedom

All of this made me realize the bigger picture which is that we, as individuals, need to stop being so heavily reliant on our mobile devices. We miss moments when we are always on our phones, sucked into the dark hole social media can potentially drown us in and we don’t know how to communicate effectively when there is small screen in front of us.

We’re afraid to make phone calls because we don’t know what to say. We’re afraid of in-person interactions because we don’t know how to handle ourselves.

This is why I want to study communications because we have these tendencies that stem from something else which, in this case, is the protection of our phones from the rest of the world. Connections can’t form if we are hiding behind a small screen.

I’ve been working on not being on my phone as a case of protection. I’ve been using my words to truthfully talk to my friends and family. It’s a process to unlearn what you’ve grown up with but I want to detach myself just a little bit from my phone in order to fully appreciate all of life around me. We miss so much of what is happening now because we are so focused on something else.

I will always love my social media but I am realizing there is more to life than the statuses we post, the 140-character tweets, the likes on Instagram and who’s seen the latest YouTube video.

Tree, Social, Media, Structure, Networking

Being without data for 30 days was a lot to manage but it got easier as time went on. I can’t promise that I will have data remaining by the end of the cycle but I know it will last longer than 24 hours. And I will make sure I don’t use it when I don’t need to use it.

There’s a whole world to see but only some of us get to experience it when we’re not preoccupied with the uneventful.

(Happy) Father’s Day

I absolutely loathe Father’s Day. I try not to hate anyone or anything in life but this one day is something I can’t accept or like.

My father is 73 years old, older than my mom’s parents, who is set in his ways. He is from Greece, and as per custom, the sons are of favorite in order to keep the family name while the daughters are to marry off and become good housewives. My brother could do no wrong in my father’s eyes growing up but I always got the short end of the stick.

Since I was a wee child, a long, long time ago, I’ve never had a father. My parent’s separated when I was nine months old and I lived with my mom, brother and grandparents for 13 years of my life until I moved to Ithaca. My father lived down the road from where I lived growing up in New Hampshire.

Every other weekend, if he wasn’t too busy for my brother and I, it would be the same routine: get picked up, go out to eat, maybe stop at a store for my dad to purchase something for my brother and sometimes I would be lucky enough to get something too, go back to father’s apartment and do absolutely nothing until we were dropped off or picked up on Sunday afternoon.

Not even 24 hours would I be with my father on a given weekend. The amount of days I’ve actually spent with my father couldn’t even add up to a 365 day year.

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When I moved to Ithaca in 2007, 10 years and one day ago, my father did not “approve” of this move. He thought that he made the “wrong” decision in “letting” me go to Ithaca with my mom and new mom. Full disclosure, I told my mom I wanted to move.  She said, “O.K.” Moving to Ithaca ended up being the absolute best decision of my life; I made friends, I became social, I came out of my shell, I graduated high school and I graduate college.

To this day, my father doesn’t understand all the good that’s happened in my life.

I don’t celebrate Father’s Day for many, many reasons, but mostly because I don’t have a father to celebrate. I see my friends with their fathers and I wished, for most of my youth, that my father would be the person I needed and wanted. I prayed that the broken feeling of not having a father would be fixed. I was always the child who called my father in order to see him, the one who always remembered his birthday or called on the holidays and was always in the middle when it came to my parent’s arguing.

I put in so much time and effort on a relationship, one I desperately wanted, that I would, and will, never get. I know what a father should be:

A father is someone who is constantly in their child’s, or children’s, life.

A father is there at every event the children are a part of.

A father shows compassion when life becomes a lot.

A father knows their favorite color, food, animal and season of the year.

A father doesn’t leave when the going gets tough.

A father shows love to his children.

A father doesn’t take his kids for granted.

I wouldn’t wish the father I have on anyone. My father has called me names no child should ever be called, see and listen to conversations that should have been private, be yelled at like you’re not even their child and emotionally abused by someone I am genetically half of.

The last time I saw my father before visiting him in January was when I graduated high school in 2012. He moved in 2015 from Massachusetts down south to Naples, FL, without informing anyone. I found out six months later of the move.

I thought visiting him would be something different and things would change. They didn’t; I found myself in the same situation I lived over and over when I visited my father a young child.

In that short week I learned that I don’t have a father to call my own like my friends do or those who have celebrated Father’s Day from posting on social media. A father doesn’t cause their children heartache, isolation and negativity.

I smile at everyone’s happiness and praise of their fathers. For 23 years I wanted to experience that same happiness and joy. I’ve realized I will never understand the feeling of what it’s like to have a present father in my life.

 

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I don’t hate my father. I don’t necessarily like my father. I love him but not how I love my moms or my grandparents. Four people who have not left my side through thick and thin in my life, have seen the BS I had to go through with my father and reassured me of those people I always have.

I give an extra nod to my second mom on father’s day; for coming into my life at my horrible and terrible pubescent teenage years and loves me like her own as my relationship with my father kept getting worse. She filled in the shoes of a father, that second parent I desperately wanted and needed.

We all have our parents or guardians, present or passed, that have raised us. Some people have mothers, some don’t. Some people have fathers, some don’t. Celebrating these holidays make brings different memories to people and there is no wrong way.

I don’t celebrate Father’s Day for my father and for me, that’s okay.