I’m a very rare breed; I was a girl that was raised by a single father. Most stories you hear of single parents it‘s not the Dad who is the one doing the work of two. Throughout every school play, tea party, sleepover and field day it wasn’t my mom standing on the sidelines cheering me on, it was my incredible father. He was always the only man among all the moms taking pictures, bringing in snacks and helping me pick out the perfect prom dress. I experienced things most girls don’t, My dad raised me himself, which I’m sure to most males raising a daughter alone might be the scariest experience of their lives. However, he did the most incredible job, that I never once felt I was missing a part of my life. I never cared that it was my dad cooking me breakfast and giving me boy advice, instead of my mom. Being raised by a single dad taught me a lot of different lessons that I don’t think many women get to go through so I wanted to share my experience.
He taught me that my value didn’t come from my looks but from my heart and my mind. I always remember from a young age, and especially as I got older, that he would tell me to never rely on my looks to get me anywhere. My looks would eventually fade but my heart and my values never would. My dad taught me that to get where I wanted to go, I needed to put in my blood, sweat, and tears to get to it. He taught me that anyone who only valued my outer shell over who I was as a person wasn’t someone I needed in my life.
He made me fiercely independent. To anyone who reads this and knows my dad, he is the most independent person I have ever met in my life and I believe you all would agree. He raised me to be able to walk alone in this world without fear. That I could be happy and live the life I wanted even if it meant there wasn’t someone by my side cheering me on. That I could change my own oil, travel the world by myself and pave my own way in this life. I don’t have a fear of being alone because he taught me how to take care of myself.
Fuck the Status Quo
My dad is a very progressive person. He taught me to fuck the status quo. There was nothing in this world that I couldn’t do. If I wanted to play basketball instead of dance, then he would spend hours shooting hoops with me. When I wanted a fast muscle car when I turned 16 instead of a Punch Buggy, he searched the Internet and got me a car with a V8 engine. To him, there was nothing that my gender would stop me from being able to do. He pushed me to go against the traditional and be different.
He made me brave, so incredibly brave. I remember when I told him that I wanted to pursue writing. I was scared because what if I wasn’t good and I knew that he always wanted me to join the family business and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I specifically remember him looking at me and saying, “Where is all this fear coming from? This isn’t you. Who cares what I think is best I don’t know everything. If you have a passion you need to go after it, this is your life.” His words are what helped push me to pursue this most likely unstable career, and to not be afraid because even if I failed at least I went for it.
One of the greatest things my dad taught me was how I deserved to be loved. To be with someone who cherishes my heart and respects me. I deserve someone who is trustworthy, dependable and unconditionally loves me. I have such high expectations when it comes to love because he set the bar so high, I’m not even sure if there is any man who can live up to the man that he is.
This doesn’t even grace the surface of all the lessons that my dad taught me, but it is just a look into the life of a girl that was raised by a single dad.
Dad, you are the most gracious, giving human being that I know. Your unwavering love and devotion have made me into the person I am today, and I am forever thankful that I have you by my side. I love you.