The emotional whirlwind of my first two years was just straight out bad. I was stressed out, trying to reconstruct my life, and juggling school and work so that my parents don’t have to pay for my rent. Massive pimples in weird spots. I’m telling ya, girls can hide it so well. Guys on the other hand aren’t fond of the idea of putting makeup on their faces. I was losing my mind at university, wondering if these classes were even worth taking. Nothing peaked my interest and my roommates and I really had no friends during our first year. But hey, the food was okay.
Then I got a call from my mom one day. Normally it’d be the weekly call to ask how I was doing, but this time it was different. She told me that my dad may be cheating on my her. And instantly I started crying. My mouth felt like it was filled with cotton balls as I tried to repeat what I was trying to say. At that moment it felt like all the trust and belief I had had in this life has shattered. I had thought my family was fine, that there were no serious problems, just minor hiccups. I thought that if my family was doing well, then I would do well, emotionally. I was connected to my family that way, that’s why I started bawling during that phone call. Awkwardly, my roommate was sitting at his desk while I was desperately trying not to drown in my own tears. I didn’t realize how much I looked to my dad as a role model and how emotionally invested I was in my mom’s well-being. That was the start of the worst two years of my life.
My third year was much better. I had regained confidence in myself and vowed to become a better man than my dad was. That was my drive and that was what kept me going. It gave me a sense of direction and pushed me to want to be a great father for my kids and a great husband to my wife one day. But my mom had always told me that my dad’s a great father, he just made plenty of mistakes. The sincerity in her voice was saddening. I wish it weren’t true, but it became obvious as I started to mature.
I had given up on the hatred for my father as the importance of my appreciation for my family grew closer to my heart. I had realized that the person who put me in school and given me all I had was my father, and that the mistakes he makes shouldn’t be reciprocated by my anger but compassion and understanding. My relationship with him was once in shreds but I was able to see that he was upset with himself, so I slowly started to pick up those pieces and sew them back together. I made small efforts to have conversations since I’d graduated, and I’ve been slowly picking up where we left off since I was kid. I loved my father once, and I could see the happiness in the photos of us when we were younger. I remembered as I grew up that my dad didn’t give me as much as the other kid’s received from their fathers. But I was too young; I had this growing interest for material things at the time and I had no idea how trivial the idea of possession could mean. But I couldn’t understand what hard work meant. I remember stealing $20 from my dad’s wallet when I was around 10 because I wanted a new deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I still regret it today. The thought of it makes me want to cry from the guilt of being a child who couldn’t appreciate the hours someone dedicated to their job just to put food on the table. I couldn’t see clearly before, but after college I realized a father’s love through the wrinkles of his face and tiredness in his eyes. I stopped asking for much. I wanted him to rest and let me take care of things. I will one day, and I’ll achieve success and dedicate it with my parents to show him that his hard work and dedication on my behalf has not gone unnoticed.