Throughout my whole life, my dad has always been my rock. He is the person I call when I'm sitting in traffic and need a good laugh; his words are the ones I repeat to myself when walking into a job interview; and, his hugs and support are all I want at the end of a hard day.
My dad is my go-to guy and I cannot even imagine where I would be without his support and help.
Getting my dad's advice on a financial decision I make, and really just how to do things has always been second nature to me. But I guess I never realized just how much he loved providing that advice. Considering, recently I haven't really been asking for it- he has just been giving it -and it is starting to get extremely frustrating and annoying.
The worst part is not the fact that he gives me advice - it is the kind of advice he gives me.
After graduation I moved away from my family in Socal to the Bay Area, to start a new job. It's been really amazing and exciting thus far but the one thing that isn't awesome is only being able to talk to my family on the phone, for a number of hours a day.
This whole 'full time job' thing is not exactly a cup of tea. Every day, I feel like I am learning so much while trying to adjust to so much, and find myself calling my dad twice as much as I did in college. But recently, at the end of every call, I've been regretting the decision of picking up the phone in the first place.
It is probably important to note that I am almost 22, just graduated from college, and have been working since I was 16. My dad, on the other hand, is a 62-year-old Persian man who moved to the U.S from Iran when he was 24. He completed all his higher education in the States and has been working as an Engineer, since. As a result, in his head, there is nothing that I face at work that he hasn't already encountered.
The other day, I called him to complain about the INSANE amount of money that was subtracted from my paycheck, due to taxes. He asked me if I had filled out a W-2 (a form that processes tax deductions). The fact that he even asked me that question rubbed me the wrong way but I took a deep breath and told him that I had in fact, and of course, completed a W-2.
The same way I filled one out when I first started working as a lifeguard at 16, a campaign advisor at 17, a server at 18, an office administrator at 19, and etc. He didn't remind me then, why did he think that 21-year-old Sara needed to hear that?
Next, I told him that the traffic situation was driving me crazy. In a genuinely concerned tone, he screamed, "did you put gas in the car?!" - I was seriously shocked. I have been driving for about 5 years now and have never had my car run out of gas. What did he think was different about this day?
My dad was (and is) the kind of dad who was constantly encouraging me to be independent. He pushed me to start working young and taking control of my own life, in almost a mandatory sense. And it just doesn't make sense to me why he feels the need to give me such trivial advice.
For some reason, he feels the need to explain what a 'tax' is to me or that tires need air put in them; which makes me feel like he thinks I am clueless.
His advice was starting to get to me until I have an epiphany the other day; his little girl is actually just growing up and he is still holding on to being a dad - I should let him.
There was a time where I did not know what a tax was and there was definitely a time I did not know how or when to put gas in my car and in those moments, my dad was the man who taught me those lessons. I only consider those pieces of knowledge to be trivial because he once showed me the way.
I should not allow him to make me feel clueless, especially when I know I am not and truthfully, I think to say that he makes me feel clueless is misunderstanding what actually is happening when I begin to get upset.
I mean, he's my dad, I want him to acknowledge how much I have grown. When he asks me whether or not I put my gas in my car, he does the opposite of that. Instead, he makes me feel like he has no idea how hard I work or how much I have accomplished.
I tried to put myself in his shoes the other day.
It may be the case that he is not ready to see me as an adult; it is much easier for him to look and think of me as his little girl. And I think I am okay with that, or at least, I am going to try to be.