In times of crisis, if there is a man that always has my back, that man is my father. From cooking Maggie for me in the midnight hours to letting me go on a solo trip, I always found a best friend in my father. When society shouted in his ears, ‘Don’t give that much freedom to your daughter’ he shut those comments, one at a time.
In Mockingbird, Eminem says, “I’m trying to give you the life that I never had”, which stands correct for my father as well. He always gave his best shot to give me the life that he never had in the first place. Our society sees a father as a provider, who brings food to the table and works hard to sustain a family. But for me, my father was someone who cooks the food and works really hard on his jokes to get me over a break-up.
Yet, there were days when I saw him angry, in distress, and sometimes even sad and numb. Watching my superhero like that taught me that he is a human, and like everyone, he is allowed to feel what he feels.
This fathers day, I would like to share the five life lessons from my father with whom I spent the first 20 years of my life.
Be you, be different. That is your superpower.
When every other girl used to have princess dolls, I liked helicopters and trucks (also because they were old toys of my brother). My choice in toys was the reason kids used to make fun of me. But there he was, telling me that toys do not have gender, and I can play with whatever I want to. Later in life when I decided to be a writer rather than a doctor, lawyer, or engineer like my cousins. He had my back! He told every single acquaintance of his, how fierce her daughter’s words are. I remember him using the phrase, ‘she wrote what we all fear to think’ (he must have read it on the internet, I never know). He was the man who changed the definition of “being different” for me.
Get a balance in your life
You know the person who always keeps the balance in life; my father is that person. He loved me more than his own life (benefits of being a late child), but he always made sure that I didn’t turn out to be a spoiled brat. During summer breaks he never let me sleep in, we were supposed to wake early. As he said, “Oversleeping causes brain cells damage, while exercise adds years to your life”. Now as a working professional, I use this balance of life every single day.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. Earn Yours.
I accept my privilege of being born into a well-doing family, but that never brings me any kind of satisfaction. As I was always told that I have to earn my own. In recent months, when I started working I realised his motive for teaching me that. Though not enough to sustain life in a capital city, yet what I earned gave me satisfaction, one of a kind that I never got from family money.
Life is short, live every second.
In the fall of 2020 when I got a heart attack, on those white sheets hospital bed, I realised how meaningless it is to cry over the past and live in the present. Dad always says, “Life is like lemon, even when you take all of its juice, you can still use it as a dressing” (chances are it’s from WhatsApp forwards). Yet, today when I look into the eyes of life in the most hopeless situations, I know because of what I learned from my father.
Suggested Reading: Men Can Encourage Other Men In Embracing Fatherhood
Have a Plan B. Always. Like Always.
You know when you are seated in the metro at 10-ish at night, and your mobile is dead from reading psyche research papers. No Cab! No Mobile! Perhaps wrong timing! In one of the world’s most dangerous cities! What do you do? Yes, you use the full-charged keypad mobile which your father always places in your bag. Yes, that’s the man, who always has a plan B not only for the journey, but also for the destination.
Dad, as I know you will read it, around 10 pm at night (yes, he read my work since age 13). So, Happy Father’s Day. Thanks for what you do and what you are. I am proud of you every single day and I am proud to be your daughter.
Views expressed are author’s own.