It was easy to communicate with my dad. Very minimal and straight to the point.

I went through my text messages with my dad coz we texted often. All are one worded messages, which I don’t reply to because he asks if I’m awake or want tea and I just zap downstairs.

Plot twist: I don’t like tea 😂

Spoilers: he knew

This one below was when my rabbit died on March 25th.

I stayed in my room for three days and got out on the 28th tearless, and I was finally able to talk to others so I went to him for a chat.

He never liked to see any of us sad to the point it was a little bit unrealistic. He wanted us to instantly feel good after any misfortune and waste no time on sadness. So my mum told me he kept asking about me and wanting to talk to me, you know, for the chance to give “the lecture” about how all living things die and what not.

A lecture which, thankfully, Mum prevented from happening because she told him who I am and how I deal with my sadness.

25th: how are you Oh Diana?
28th: today you are the girl I know. You lifted my spirit up as well.

All the way back

The first text message dates back to April 2013 when I participated for the first time in Middle East Comic Con in Dubai and I went with 25 books each of volumes 1+2.

They all sold out in the first half of the first day.

My dad hadn’t took my work seriously by then, and he often made fun of the two girls in bangs covering their faces I write about. Yes.

But he respected my decision and he saw that it’s what I wanted to do, no budging.

He didn’t like that I studied Architecture to end up sitting behind a table selling books— no disrespect to anyone or any career, however we’re a culture ruled by so many things like that and while he was never to go by the rules, he just, at the time, didn’t see that you can lead a career in art and the concept of conventions and manga was very very foreign to him.

But he supported me beginning my career regardless of how little he thought of my choices.

I remember when my younger sister got a job as a art teacher in one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and I was 5 or 6 books in with Grey is…, he said to me “may you find a good job like that too”.

So it’s not like he was 100% behind my choices, but eventually he did.

I kind of trailed off from the original intent of this entry to illustrate a point to all who struggle with their parents, but I’ll talk about that in another place someday.

After I sold out all of the 50 books I had, I received this text from dad.

translation: congratulations

It could be seen as a dry message, a forced message or just a formality, but because my father has always been minimal with interactions and would never send a message without genuinely meaning it, it meant a lot to me.

My younger sister and I were out for dinner with our oldest brother at the time in Dubai, and I felt so much receiving that message from him.

I felt that in that instant, he was proud of me for the small step to “success” in a path he doesn’t see a point in.

In 2013, it was a win for me. In 2021; it’s a reminder.