Hey Thrivers! Originally this post was supposed to go live on Father’s Day but better late than never. I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned from my Dad. My Dad, like many other immigrants, came to the United States in the nineties in the hope of creating a better life for himself. If you’re a child of an immigrant reading this or the child of a brown parent, maybe you can relate to this. While I do struggle with understanding my Dad at times, I’ve learned to appreciate all the life lessons he has taught me unknowingly. It has helped shape me into the woman I am today.
- Appreciate your culture and where you come from – Being that I grew up in the United States, there were disparities in the way my Dad and I viewed certain things when it came to cultural tradition and perspectives. Although I struggled with truly loving my culture, now that I’m older I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of it. For example, something that I’ve come to appreciate about myself is being family oriented and caring about my elders. I love getting to hear my parents stories of growing up. It makes me appreciate all that I have, makes me want to work harder in life, and makes me appreciate my parents’ hustle even more.
- My love for gardening – I recently cultivated an appreciation for gardening while being laid off work and quarantined at home. We are limited to space now, but growing up I just remember having a huge garden that my dad would work on for hours. We would harvest so many veggies that there was more than enough to hand out in our neighborhood. Gardening is truly a labor of love. It requires physical labor and lots of trial and error. It has been immensely healing for me while I have been home. It became a form of therapy for me and a great bonding activity for my Dad and I.
- My love for stories – I have come to learn that I enjoy listening to other people’s stories. I love hearing about how someone overcame a struggle, how they learned from failure, and so on. My Dad unknowingly influenced my love for stories for this reason. He was always telling stories growing up and he naturally had a love for hearing other people’s stories. I think it has helped me to become a more empathetic person.
- Laugh even when the sun isn’t shining – We had our fair share of struggles as a family. But one thing I’ve noticed about my dad is that he still knows how to laugh and how to smile. Even more important, he knows how to make others laugh even when he may not have the best of days. He’s taught me to not take things so seriously. I’m a natural over-thinker and worrier (I’m working on it) but his presence reminds me that if you appreciate the little things everyday, you can make the most with what you have.
My Dad is definitely a unique person. He has challenged me in many ways but he’s also grounded me. While we may continue to disagree on things, he has taught me some amazing lessons that I know I want to pass on to my future kids someday. As I get older, I have learned to appreciate the good in our relationship and remember that it will always outweigh everything else. Thank you for helping in shaping the woman I am today Dad!
Take Care Thrivers!
All photos are courtesy of Unsplash