October 7th, 2015 by Jan

I remember my friend MaryLynn explaining why she enjoyed the practice of tai chi so much. “I’m curious.” She said.

It made total sense to me. Curiosity keeps us engaged, and I am finding that the lack of curiosity creates distance.

The lack of curiosity, being uninterested, is what makes me tune out and run for the hills. Topics I am not interested in or curious about — well, it isn’t that I find them boring, it’s that I’m not interested.

Our friend Frank is big time into cars. I’m not.

Once after he spent time explaining to me, with great enthusiasm, all about a sports car he had, that did this, and had this engine and that crank shaft thingy… the best I could summon was a bleak… Ooh… and then sheepishly I admired the colour of the car.

This didn’t stop Frank and I from sharing many other wonderful conversations, but we learned that car talk wasn’t something we shared.

Today, I had an “aha” moment. At first, I got pissed me off, but now, a bit of time has passed, and I’m understanding and starting to accept.

Some background:
My cousins son is big time interested in keeping my fathers history alive. He has even put together a film, has held interviews, collected photos, and holds stories of dad, that I ran away from with my hands over my ears yelling La, la, la….

My dad was a Marine and fought in WWII, He survived after being wounded on Iwo Jima and spoke about his experience there often. In many peoples hearts and minds, my dad was a war hero.

This is a topic my father found endlessly interesting and one I found unfathomable. I could not wait to leave the room, my eyes would glaze over, and if there had been a visible thought bubble over my head, it would be me and Homer Simpson singing the Old Spice commercial song, when dad started talking about war and the Marines, and how we’d all be speaking Japanese if it weren’t for the few, the strong and the brave.

I wasn’t interested in this. In fact I hated this topic. Which I guess is another way of saying I wasn’t interested in my dad life, because this was probably the biggest and most important part of his life to him.

And tit for tat, it is no wonder that he wasn’t interested in my life. He probably had the Marine corp hymn singing in his head when I spoke of my study of Tai Chi or my work at the treatment centre or even in the days way back when, when I was looking for something — anything to be interested in.

He only really gave me the Military and or competitive sports as jumping off places for us to come together. His interests, not mine. Although, I am kinda sporty and some say a bit competitive.

This has me thinking.

Do I shut you out if you don’t want to talk about what I want to talk about?

Apparently, yes, if you want to talk about the military or cars. (I could probably add other topics as well).

In my life, I’ve been jealous that so many other people had such deep and meaningful interactions with my dad. He is considered a hero and role model to so many. I am told all the time how he had such a positive influenced on their life. From the outside, “they” seem to have had the relationship I wanted. I am starting to understand it now.

For connection to happen — everyone has to be open and curious about what ever is taking place at the moment. This is probably why push hands was such a good teacher to me. This is also why I have such wonderful friends in the world, a really good husband, and why I am able to live a relatively resentment free life.

In truth, I wasn’t interested or curious in my dads life. Not really, not how it really was. Not who he really was. I wanted him to be different. I wanted him interested in me. I longed for curiosity, interest, connection, without giving it back.

Perhaps, this is why I’m jealous, hurt, or off put that someone else is more interested in putting together a shrine for my father than I am. And, even though I can’t think of anything I’m less interested in, it still bugs me. But, no wonder there was such a distance between daughter and father. We just weren’t curious about the same stuff.

This might be one of those posts that I hope not too many people read. 🙂 But, I’m glad I wrote it.

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