Driving home from work last night, after a 12 hour day, I thought back on how lucky I am. Yes, on this night, I was exhausted after working more than a full work day getting ready for a college basketball game and then interacting with customers and coworkers, trying not to burst my introverted bubble. But, I am doing what I love. I never dread going into work. Sometimes I complain about the hours I work, the lack of weekends during certain sport’s seasons, and, occasionally, the people and strong personalities I work around. But this is sports. All of this is built in and expected.
This is the goal I had worked for, through my public relations degree when my cohorts were hoping to work for non-profits, or big firms, or the fringe few that wanted to do wedding planning. Through grad school with the stress and the projects and the tests, none of that accounting for the huge life changes I went through. I worked so hard to get to this point, to finally do what I love to do. The only reason I was so driven towards getting to this point was seeing my parents do jobs they hated, dread going to, just to make a life for our family. It wasn’t until I was in college that my parents both found jobs they actually enjoyed, with my dad working in the field he had wanted to be in since high school.
My dad was always incredibly proud of where I am in life. Really, he was always proud of my drive and determination to get out of that small town. One memory I always have is his pure enjoyment out of getting my business cards, no matter what my job was. Up until this point in my life, I have had three jobs with business cards, and my dad always wanted a stack of them, even when I was working in retail for three years. I have no idea what he did with them, but I knew whenever I got my first box of cards, a good sized chunk of them needed to go to my dad.
I’m not finished with my journey. I’m where I need to be right now, but there is still so much road ahead and I can’t see all of it. It hurts to know that my dad won’t be there to see me reach all of my goals, and all of his goals for me, but I’m glad he got to see me start my journey in the right way. At his funeral, I heard countless times how proud he was of me, how much he talked about me, how I was so important to him. I was proud of my dad too. He pointed my feet in the right direction and stood back to watch me take every step.