08 Jun The Diving Connection.
From my recent video (link here) you may have noticed that I went diving with my father for the first time. This was special to me for many reasons, but first here is some backstory.
Growing up, my father was mostly absent due to the fact that he was constantly working. Even when he was home, he was working (in his head) and never completely present. So, despite that he was physically there, he was always thinking about work. You can imagine that as a children, we didn’t understand this and it lead to us feeling emotionally distant from him.
Now, I don’t blame him for his choice. In fact, my family enjoys our current lifestyle and freedom thanks to that choice. His business educated me and my brother in the Netherlands and provided a more-than-comfortable lifestyle for us and for that I am eternally grateful. So just like with most things in life, you win some and you lose some.
What does that have to do with diving?
Well, it is the first time in a long time that I see him doing something for pleasure or just because he is interested in it. He entire existence was always about work and obviously that was never healthy for him. I am glad I’m finally seeing him trying to enjoy life. Furthermore, for me as an advanced open water diver (soon to be certified rescue diver) it was one of the first times that he is behind me in skills and ability in a particular field. He just finished his first level, the open water certification and I am 3 levels above. He is a proud person and for him it is difficult to be a beginner in anything, especially compared to me or my brother. So seeing him try and/or not care about the struggle of being a beginner in diving brought me great joy.
Perhaps more than anything, the most important thing is that I am feeling connected to him through a shared interest. As I explained, throughout my childhood we never got to do the normal dad-son stuff that most families do. So for us to finally do something together, especially something that I am good at, is special. I think you can see it from our smiles in the photo that it meant something.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to reconnect with my family. So many people miss that in their lives and I’m really sorry about that. However, I think you should know this is a two way street. I have always made attempts to connect with him and finally he is doing the same. I am glad he has the desire to change for the better and in the process help us do the same.