His name on the caller ID "Greg Bryant". His correct title, my dad.
He started the conversation in his usual harsh tone, blurting out a random question with underline judgement. "Are you going to be doing live remotes?," he demanded to know. Only ten seconds in and I already knew this was about to landslide down faster than the Fleetwood Mac song could finish playing.
Although not face to face, you could cut the anxiety and tension with a knife.
He repeated "are you going to be doing live remotes on the trail?"
I CAN handle "the changing seasons of my life," a Steve Nicks pun. BUT I've never been able to handle Greg Bryant.
He continued with "I'm going to ask you a series of questions that you aren't going to be happy with," then started firing away like a Pistol Pete standoff.
HERE. WE. GO----
"What's the longest you've ever camped outside?", "What's the lowest temperature you will encounter?", "What are you going to do in an emergency?", "Who's going with you?"
When I could answer those questions he started yelling at me what I CAN'T do---
"You can't walk more than five miles a day!" and "You can't carry a 40 pound pack." "You can't do this," the rest of his CAN'T statements I already blocked from my memory.
When I calmly thanked him for his opinion, he exploded. "Bullshit! Don't bullshit a bullshitter. You f@*&^g resent me and don't give one damn about my opinion and won't listen to it."--- well at least we can agree on one thing ;)
A slight bit of fear arose in me as I put all of this into context.
My dad operates his entire life out of fear. He's never ventured away from Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the man you go to a restaurant or store with and all you hear is complaining about the people around. He isn't happy and his inner thoughts mirrors his outer words.
We look up to, admire, and trust the people who brought us into this world- it's human nature. You hope they're your biggest fans and cheerleaders. Even if they are concerned about you, they help prepare you instead of stomp you down.
Some might say, this was my dad's way of expressing worry. I'm sure if you asked him, he would tell you the same thing.
However his landslide of negativity won't bring me down. I will climb the mountain, I won't turn around, I can handle the changing seasons of my life and not only does time make me bolder, it makes me wiser too.