My Father’s Daughter

This post was originally posted on the blog Have Coffee… Will Write that I shared with Susan Borath. With Father’s Day this weekend and us packing for a week in Avon, North Carolina I thought I’d cheat and just repost. Please forgive me!! I’ll be back next week with an new post :)

I am my father’s daughter… oh, look! A shiny paperclip!

That about says it all doesn’t it? Ok, not really, but its a good way to start a post about a girl who could never settle on anything. When kids were picking majors and planning their futures I was nervously flittering around hoping no one would stop me and ask me to pin down my future. However, in my defense, most of the kids that had “planned” out their future changed their majors six times in college, but that’s not the point.

The point is that for a long time I really wasn’t passionate about anything.

I was an average kid, got average grades, did average things. My friends on the other hand were the complete opposite. They were all in honors courses or in the gifted programs while I was happy pulling B’s in the college prep courses. I wish I could say that I could have done better if I just applied myself, but sadly, no. I did apply myself; I am just a ‘B’ kinda girl.

I excelled in one area, though, the stage. On the outside I declared myself as a theatre major, but I think deep down I knew nothing would come of it. Not that it wouldn’t if I didn’t “apply” myself, but because I wouldn’t pursue it. See, even then, when I thought my world was the stage just waiting for me to step onto it, I knew that acting wasn’t in my future. Not as a paycheck, anyways.

Before I sat down to write my NaNo novel I thought about all the things I’ve been through in my life; all the lessons I’ve learned, the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met. Then I cried because I felt pathetic.

Other than a few states along the Eastern seaboard I really haven’t travelled. I grew up in a small town, went to a private college where I commuted from home for most of it, married my high school sweetheart, moved a block and half away from my parents and am a stay at home mom. Not the exciting life a globe trotter or thrill seeker.

Fortunately for me, I am my father’s daughter.

My dad never went to college. He did a stint in the Air Force and travelled to some cool places, when he got out he worked as a sewing machine repair man.  After 30 years of loyalty his company laid him off without a pension forcing him to find work in local warehouses for various companies. He is currently working for Walgreen’s.

My father is not a doctor, or a lawyer or a person with PhD after his name. However, he is one of the smartest men I know. His knowledge on the most random of topics is astounding. I like to say that he knows a little bit of everything because its the truth.

After I mopped up my tears and wiped my nose on my sleeve (don’t ‘ew’ me, you know you do it sometimes) I sat back and really looked at my past experiences. Sure, I never really focused on an area of academia. It’s true that I used to be jealous of those around me that knew what they wanted to study, what they wanted to be when they got older. But what I didn’t realize that in my own way I was setting up my own future.

I love learning. I love learning about everything and anything I can get my hands on. If I find someone who is passionate about something I pull up a chair, open my mind and ask a million questions; or I shut my mouth, become a sponge and just absorb it all.

Over time I started to hear my father’s voice in my head asking the same questions. I realized that I’m following my father’s footsteps. I always looked at my inability to focus on something was a downfall; I’ve learned it’s one of my greatest assets.

We always joke that my dad could talk to a brick wall and get information out if it. He is the quintessential “people person.” My dad can get people to open up to him, share their stories, even if he just met the person. The amazing thing is, he’s truly interested.

He taught me that I don’t need to get on a plane to learn about distant lands or cultures. There’s a wealth of information at my fingertips through the internet, tv and even with the people around me. Through him I realized that the learning experience doesn’t end in the classroom. He reminds me that there is a great big world out there and its up to me to discover it, even it is through the Discovery or Travel Channels.

I’m glad that I was indecisive. It gave me room to explore everything not just something.

And if we ever play Trivia Pursuit, I call my dad as my partner. (Go ahead, you know you want to say it… No? I’ll say it for you… “Awwwwww.”)

Do you have an area of expertise? Did you always know what you wanted to do with your life? Was there someone in your life that inspired you to open your mind to new discoveries? Can you talk to inanimate objects?

 

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