When A Loved One Passed On Before the World Went Digital: Where Are You, Dad?

This morning I was looking for a picture to post of me and my dad on my Instagram account. While I once briefly referenced my father on my page, I never posted a picture of him, nor did I fully explain the enormous influence that he had on my decision to become a nutritionist.

My Instagram account: gila_health_and_wellness, is an interesting breed indeed. It is an account dedicated to healthy living, but since I had no desire to create a solely personal Instagram account, it sometimes contains pictures about personal quirks/passions of mine that are, dare I say, not at all related to nutrition (Oh my!).

Being that I have black-and-white thinking, this is constantly itching at me. Are there people who begin to follow me and then stop because my feed is not solely about nutrition and exercise? I mean, I chose the name for my professional business to be “Gila Health and Wellness” several years ago with the intention of including more than just nutrition and physical activity. I wanted to include other topics such as mindfulness and emotional well-being, which are not strictly nutrition- and exercise-related.

But as I broaden my definition more and more of what “health and wellness” means to me, I continue to wonder if I am making a mistake in spreading my net so wide.

But, alas, I digress. And only time will tell if the unique fusion that is my professional image on Instagram, which in every way mirrors my person, catches and keeps the attention of others.

In my efforts to find more people who would be interested in what I express on my Instagram account (i.e. garner more followers), I realized this morning that I have yet to post a picture of me and my dad (my inspiration for becoming a nutritionist) on my Instagram page.

And I realized today that I don’t have any digital pictures of me and my father.

I created my current Gmail account in 2007, the year after my father died, so I wouldn’t have any there. I created my Facebook account in the summer of 2006, 3 months before my father suddenly passed away, so nothing there either.

I didn’t get a smart phone until 2013, which means that I wasn’t digitally chronicling my life until around that time. I mean, I had started to, but not nearly as heavily as the present time.

And, here I am two for two, for I have digressed yet again! For the intention of this post was not to write about how much more digitally inclined I have become (together with the rest of the world!). Rather, I wanted to express that this is the second time that I am intensely realizing that I do not have easy access to pictures of me and my father.

The first time, it was about five years ago, when I reflected on how I had no pictures with him, let alone of him, in my apartment.

And being that I have often struggled with feelings of abandonment after losing my father, I couldn’t help but notice that not having pictures with or of him, was probably both a symptom and a driver of my intense feelings of abandonment and loneliness.

I think I knew subconsciously that seeing pictures of my dad would make me miss him even more, and I created a reality where not seeing my father’s face for months on end was normal.

But, as I concluded then, I recognize today that this may not be the best approach.

And so, setting aside my strong desire to successfully build my brand based in part on my unique, painful experiences, which are, in fact, not so unique at all, since many can relate to them—setting aside my selfish professional pursuits for one moment, I can acknowledge, once again, that there are times that I rarely see a physical image of my father; and it’s weird.

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