My Father – the Person who Inspires me
How it works
He told me he was leaving again. I was 14 years old. It shouldn’t have bothered me because I had been through it with him before, but this time it felt different. The first time my father told me that he was leaving, I was 10 years old. He said he could be a better father if he wasn’t living at home. He moved out but never became a better father. I learned not to have expectations of him, yet he still managed to disappoint. This time, he said he was leaving because he had a great job opportunity and would be moving six hours away.
While the first four years were not easy, I had done okay. I was actually excited about starting high school in a few weeks when my father announced his move. In a strange way, I think I felt a sense of loss for something I never really had. There wasn’t even the lie of his wanting to be a better father; it was just his wanting an opportunity he “couldn’t pass up”. And in that moment, I made a promise to myself that I would never be like him.
My father is a physician. He is smart and hardworking. However, if you look a bit below the surface, you will see a man whose priority is himself. I had always wanted to be a doctor, and people would often say that I was smart and a hard worker. My excitement for high school was soon replaced by a fear that if I did the same things he did, I would end up like him. I rationalized that if I did the opposite of him, I would not end up like him. And so it began. He was punctual; I tried to be late. He was athletic; I stopped doing sports. He had always excelled at school; I held myself back. He was social; I withdrew. As time passed with my choices in motion, some truths became apparent to me.
I realized that it wasn’t being a doctor that made him who he was; it was the choices that he made. His choices hurt himself and the people who cared for him, and here I was doing the same thing. In an effort to avoid being like him, I made the same mistakes that he did. I had no control over my father’s actions, but decided I could control my own reactions.
At the end of my sophomore year, I made the choice to change my life, and I did. I started working hard at school and turned my grades around; I returned to sports, and made time for family and friends. I had made life better for myself and for others. Life has gone on. My father has since returned to the area for another job opportunity. Not much has changed on that front, but I know that I have changed. I have grown. Perhaps someday my father will make better choices, but if he doesn’t, I will be fine because I have learned how to respond to them. Someone once said “we don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges”. To me, it could not be more true.
How it works