I’m sure my dad’s life would have been a lot easier if I had been born a boy. Now don’t go mistaking this for pity or low self worth, it really would have been easier. Instead of artsy hobbies like writing and knitting, I could have been a boy and been into football and wrestling. I could have gone to a big universiry on a scholarship instead of waiting and spending so much time waiting for nursing school. Instead of chasing the boys and causing my dad more headaches than he can count, I could have been the boy all the girls chased, a boy that my dad could be proud of.
But I am not a boy, nor do I want to be. This is not a pity post.
Why am I telling you about how easy my dad’s life would have been if I were a boy? Because even though I’m sure he wanted a boy to pass on the family name, and to talk sports and girls with, he got my sister and then me. He may have wanted boys instead, but he raised my siser and me the best he could.
Looking back now, I wish I could change a lot of things. I wish I could change how well I did in high school and my priorities the first few semesters of college. I wish I could have done at least a few sports just to give him accomplishments he could boast about to his friends. I wish I could have gotten a better scholarship so he didn’t have to work so hard to make ends meet month after month during nursing school. I wish he and I could have been closer, like we used to be before hormones and boys got in the way.
But wishing won’t change anything now. What’s done is done, and I can’t change any of that. Even though, looking back, I want different things for myself, I wish things had been easier on him. He has always been right behind me, whatever my choices, even if he didn’t always agree with me. He would make suggestions, give me better options and sometimes put down options I was dead set on, but it was only because he cared. I used to think his actions and his tactics were controlling and manipulative, and maybe in some ways they are, but that was because some decisions I was not yet strong enough to make for myself.
I always used to think my writing was a point of shame, something that was embarassing for him, and something to be ashamed of. Instead of going out and living adventures, I was sitting at home writing them, and not even very good ones at the beginning. I felt like writing was something to do in secret and no one should see the process, only the finished product. I used to only write right before bed, by the light of a night light, because I knew I couldn’t be bothered or feel ashamed.
And then 2011 came along and I wrote my first ever “serious” novel. It was the start of a series and the first novel I actually continued and finished even though I didn’t technically win NaNoWriMo that year. Even better, I went on to type it, and then it was printed, and writing no longer became a secret hobby that I only partook in the dark. Spark:The Girl aptly lived up to its name. It was indeed the spark that lit the flame of my passion.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that my Dad found out about NaNoWriMo and all of my accomplishments. I hadn’t told him because November was always a stressful time with the semesters coming to a close, final projects and finals, and some semesters he would stress more than I did. A few weeks ago we were talking about what I was going to do with all my new free time and he said “I know about your writing, and I’m proud of all the progress you’ve made.”
That meant the world to me. It means that he continues to only want the best for me, and that he truly cares about my happiness. It’s time to show him that I am capable, that I can do something with my writing and make him more proud, even though I barely follow football and am not very athletic at all.
Even through all the struggles, my dad is one of my biggest supporters and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Who are some of your biggest supporters? Have you hugged them today?