It’s Father’s Day, so I wanted to say a few words about Stan the Man, Stanley the Manly, Pops, Ray, Daddy-O, or simply, Dad.
If I narrow down all the things my dad has taught me to most important thing, it’s that parenting is a life-long commitment. Is it fulfilling? I’m sure it is at times, but I laugh because I’m well into my thirties and my dad and I both know I’ll be leaning on him for direction, guidance, and emergency money until the sweet, sweet release of death. Luckily, for me, my dad is committed.
When I first went to college at Texas Tech, I struggled so hard. I wasn’t aware of what a panic attack was when I was 18, but I was having them constantly. When I called home, it was my dad who talked to me and calmed me down. This man flew me from Lubbock to Dallas and back nearly every weekend of my freshman year of college.
After college, it was dad who helped me get my first “real” job in sales. I’m sure he had visions of me following in his footsteps and being an affable, outgoing, selling machine! I sold exactly one unit. On the day I quit. Nine months after I started.
Everyone who knows me well knows that I am a late bloomer. I needed lots of help to get my life on track. My dad put a roof over my head while I figured things out…for eight years. Granted, some pretty significant life events were happening concurrently, but if my dad hadn’t welcomed me back, I would not be in the same position I am in now. I needed his safety net in that time, and I’m so grateful he provided it so I didn’t have to settle. I still felt like I was settling in the early years- working at a daycare, waiting tables full-time, switching to retail…I felt like I was capable of more, but I didn’t have the confidence to go after it until seven years into living with my dad.
In all that time, because I wasn’t scrambling for rent or a car payment, I had time to think. I had time to sort out what was keeping me from functioning at the level I am capable of functioning. I had time to learn what I love to do, cultivate that passion, find my purpose, and follow my own path. I don’t know too many other people who have the same kind of support. I’m lucky to have my dad, I would not be the person I am today without my dad, because I wouldn’t have had the kind of time it requires to find out.
I think lots of young children see their patents as these perfect, all knowing entities, rather than fallible humans. The thing about my dad is, once I found out he wasn’t perfect, I didn’t feel like I had to be either. He continues to be really open with me about mistakes he’s made in his life and how they helped shape who he is now. My dad definitely has a growth mindset and I think he inspires others to want to be their best self as well. I must have inherited that trait from him.
It all goes back to that important lesson, parenting is a life-long commitment. Thankfully, when I turned 18, my parents weren’t saying, “Well, Kasey, we’re all done here, good luck out there! See you at Christmas!”
So, this Father’s Day I wanted to honor to the best father I know, my own. Thank you for your patience, faith in me, and commitment to supporting me so that I can live my life my own way. I love you dad! Happy Father’s Day!