if my dad would be okay with the next steps I’ve made in my life.
I wonder about the words he has used to describe me in the past, the moments I’ve made him proud. I keep him in mind every single day, as I continue learning about this world that is changing faster with every passing minute. I have taken steps to work towards something that makes me proud. I had so many dreams growing up and going to school about working in international relations, and those dreams haven’t gone away, I just think I am taking on another path that will bring me the satisfaction of feeling content and proud of myself.
For a long time, I beat myself up. I held onto a version of myself that realistically, no longer existed. I was forcing situations on myself that I know I “should be” doing, in order to build the “career” my father and I always talked about.
I still love the field I finished in school. I still aspire to it some day…but I can’t force myself into something. Life is currently taking me down a path that my family never saw coming. I mean, who would’ve known the world would have turned out this way after just a few years.
However, it’s funny. If there is anyone I know that wouldn’t be judging me for my next steps…it would be my father. I think he would understand the fear I have of not making the most of a life that can change on a dime and be turned upside down. With the genetic component of the pancreatic cancer that took my paternal side…it is so hard to put yourself in stressful positions (particularly in terms of career) because of that one hidden thought in the back of your mind. That insecurity of knowing whether or not this gut wrenching disease will take you sooner than later.
It’s part of the reason I am who I am today. I miss having the innocence around not knowing what it feels like to lose a parent. I am jealous of my friends that can take on the world without worrying about what kind of a psychological toll it will take on them. I miss knowing that the world is a scary place…but ignoring it.
For that reason, I have taken new steps on a freshly paved path, whose welcome sign screams “Yes, the world is terrifying – but you are living in it to the best of your abilities.” There is no way that my father would be upset with me.
I know he is with me. With all of us in our family. I am grateful for everyone that I have in my corner. But I miss him. I miss his words of encouragement, I miss having him to talk things through with…and so I continue… to often wonder.
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Always remember that you’re not alone, and we’re all in this battle of life. You are competent enough to face your turmoil head-on. You just gotta take the first step.
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