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He's Not Superman

Hero Unmasked

By Jennifer DavidPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
4
He's Not Superman
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

My father’s love has never been a question. For me, my siblings, my mother, friends, family, and even strangers his love has always been evident. It may not be in conventional ways but, nonetheless, it’s always been apparent.

Dad makes friends in the least likely of places. Catch him at the gas station buying cookies and cigars, on a plane taking a nap, being pulled over by the police, walking down any random street, angry in a hospital bed, waiting for a table at a restaurant, picking a seat on the bus, even walking into the bathroom he could make a group of friends for life. People just gravitate to him. They can’t help it.

He’s everyone’s brother. He’s a nurturer. He’s the great debater. He is an athlete no matter what condition he’s in. He is inquisitive. He is impatient. He is quiet but loud when you least expect it. He’s seriously funny with a smile that could make even the angriest people smile in return. He's real. He listens. He is genuine. He helps those in need. But he’s also not afraid to ask for help. He’s not afraid to say he’s scared. He doesn't shy away from breaking down crying when the world is too crazy and too much. He lets the world see who he is. And I think that’s why people cling to him. They are in awe of him. They just want a minute with him. Sounds a lot like someone else but I promise I’m just talking about my dad. Dan the man. He even has a shirt that says it in case we forget.

I’ve learned a lot of things from him, some good and some bad. Some things he taught me and my siblings that we’ll probably never tell our mom. But that’s ok. That’s part of the joys of life. And the best way to enjoy life is to live it authentically. You can be authentic without incriminating yourself. Smile. Laugh. Cry. Love. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Know that not knowing is the first step to knowing. Dig deep. Understand that it’s ok not to be ok. Be honest. Be yourself. That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned from my dad. Live. I have keep that with me always. And I make it my goal everyday day to share it with the world in some way, no matter how big or small. I live my life.

It’s odd that the hardest thing for people is to just be themselves. The truth is so unexpected to people. And I’ve never fully grasped why. It’s so time consuming to put on a mask every day. It puts us in a cage. Yet for whatever reason we continuously hold onto ideas where forcing ourselves into boxes we don’t belong is ok. But that narrative is shit. We don’t have to go along with it. We fantasize about a world where people don’t hide, where people don’t lie, where the truth didn’t set us free because we were already free and so was the truth. But what we fail to realize is that the only person holding us back from that type of euphoric land is ourselves. My dad taught me that–cue claps. Just kidding, don't do that. My dad is cool but he doesn’t try to be anyone he is not. That’s the whole point.

My dad is ‘Dan the Man’, sure. But he’s just Dan. He’s my dad. He’s a son. He’s a friend. He is a stranger. He is a grandfather. He is a leader and a follower. He is driven. He is audacious. He is reserved. He is as stubborn as they come. He is all the things. He's a person.

My dad confronts his fear. He welcomes joy. He fights anger. He acknowledges it all... sometimes. He prepares himself to be overcome with grief. He’s all too quick to turn on music and enjoy a party. He pushes his feelings aside for those around him. And he’s not perfect but I won’t waste time explaining that he’s got his faults, I do too. Don’t you?

Fatherhood
4

About the Creator

Jennifer David

I hope my thoughts challenge yours

Connect with me on instagram!

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (3)

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  • Stephanie David8 months ago

    This is stunning. An encouraging reminder to be ones self. Profound, yet simple.....a choice to be free!

  • Jennifer, this is a beautiful tribute to “Dan the Man”. It is easy to see why people are drawn to your dad. When something or someone genuine comes along, we naturally want to be near, and hope it rubs off on each of us. Thank you for sharing this!

  • OK, this time missing the deadline wasn't even my fault. I rushed to get it done on time and might delete later if I reread it and it doesnt make sense. Lemme know what you think if you read it :)

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