All I can think about this Monday is how thankful I am for family. I had the opportunity to visit my parents this last weekend and it provided the much needed escape from clinics, hospitals and medical books. It’s amazing how going home instantly shuts out the stress of everyday life and melts away the tension. I felt so free that I forgot (for just a second) that the semester isn’t over!
Parents are always full of insightful advice. As a teenager, I would sometimes think, “they don’t understand what I’m going through.” Yet of course, they were spot on for literally every word of wisdom they spoke. I can’t count how many times my mom was right about certain friends or knowing that “everything will pass” when I thought the world would literally end when I was in a fight with my best friend- yes, Kaylee that was you. One of my mom’s favorite quotes is “It is what it is, and we will do our best.” She taught me to focus on what I can do to better myself or a situation. And if I can’t change it, to not waste my time being upset about it. She is incredibly efficient, a natural leader and a wonderful teacher who goes above and beyond to help students both inside and outside the classroom. She is the finder of all lost things and family receptacle of problems. It’s a strange phenomenon when you get old enough to realize that your parents actually had lives before kids, before the title “mom” or “dad.” I realized when I got older, how much my mom just listens. She takes in all of the family’s problems and complaints, and provides empathy and advice, without venting her own thoughts. I never realized until college that I had no idea how my mom felt about core issues or politics. She has always just provided us with the comfort we needed without asking for comfort in return. She just gives and gives.
My dad has always challenged me to dig deeper and find the true meaning of life. For as long as I can remember, we would have long talks about the cosmos, subconscious feelings, people and purpose. I admire his creativity and insatiable desire to learn. Senior year of high school, our parents had a “homework assignment” for my english class. They had to write a letter to us. It could be about anything, but it usually gravitated towards advice since we were all heading towards college, work, or whatever paths people’s lives were taking them post high school. My dad gave me three quotes to remember through life:
1. “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” We have this metaphor that my dad taught me as a child, about a circle. It’s a personal growth, bash the fear away and jump type of thing. It has truly gotten me through some of the hardest and scariest moments in life. Regardless of what profession you go into, you are bound to have to overcome obstacles. You are going to have to face fears repeatedly, whether it’s a phobia of speaking in public, the fear that your work isn’t good enough, or the recurring nightmare that you showed up to your exam with no pants. You have to punch fear in the face in order to succeed in life. 2. “The past doesn’t determine your future, unless you live there.” Classic advice to learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell on things you cannot change. Determine what you can do to be better prepared next time and take that next step forward. 3.”There’s no such place as far away.” Especially in our modern world of Facetime, cell phones and internet, no matter the distance between two people, it is never too far for a catch-up chat now and then.
Just because I want to brag about my dad, here is a picture of one of his oil paintings.
I hope if anything, this post makes you want to call up your parents and tell them you love them, or run over and give them a hug. They deserve it. They brought you into this world (thank your mother for going through birth, it’s not pretty), gave you a roof over your head, and somehow created a somewhat normal human being. That is a feat!