Five years ago I was fresh out of school, wide-eyed and ready for adventure. I was in the throes of talking with a mother in London about nannying for her children the following year. At one point it came into the conversation that my real father wasn’t around, which I was happy to disclose. That was my family situation and it was normal to me.
When I told a friend of mine this, she was shocked and said that was a bad idea. "She may think that you aren’t fit for the job if she knows you come from a broken family. You shouldn’t have told her that, she doesn’t need to know."
I was perplexed; what did it matter? Does the fact that I come from a broken home make me less of a person or less of an employee? I assumed yes and immediately regretted opening up. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be so quick to share my background in the future and quietly hoped that I would still be considered for the job. The same way a turtle shrinks back into it’s shell, I retreated in shame for something that was entirely out of my control.
Now, years later, I can see the truth. I stand with a lot more experience, understanding and confidence. I’ve officially given up on not being open and honest about my life, because it’s possibly one of the best parts of my personality. It enables me to connect with people on a deep level. I’m not ashamed of being a loud-mouth any more.
And you know what? I am angry that I was told to hide that my father was absent. I am angry that I was made to feel that I shouldn’t share the intricate parts of my soul that define me. The fact that my father did not raise me doesn’t define me. The fact that I grew into a well-rounded woman anyway? That does define me and I’m damn proud of it, and thankful to the people in my life that made this possible.
To this day I have no problem with sharing my story. I am worth loving despite not having a father around to love me as a child, I know that now.