6 Lessons I Learned From My Dad

After a morning of making my dad’s favorite stew, I’m ready to sit and write. In honor of my dad’s birthday, day 6 of my blog challenge is going to be dedicated to him. I’m going to share 6 things that I’ve learned from him so far.

1. Driving

When I became of age and got my permit, my dad is the person who taught me how to drive. He got me a job as a receptionist where he was working remotely for a while, and we would wake up early on Sunday and go driving. If I’m honest, he definitely pushed me in that context. I think my cautiousness tested his patience.

Most of Florida is flatland, but my Dad managed to move to an area that seemed like it had every hill that Florida as a state should’ve had. We practiced in a parking lot that also seemed to have some elevation, and it was a couple weeks before I actually put my foot on the pedal. In those beginning phases of learning how to drive, going 5 miles per hour felt really fast. We typically ended those mornings going to Panera before heading into work, because at the time they had a delicious sun dried tomato breakfast sandwich.

2. The Value of Family

There was once a time when I valued my friends over my family. I didn’t feel like my family ever understood where I was coming from, while my friends did. This was especially true in middle school, which is a time in my life I don’t like to remember too much.

I remember there was a weekend that I was supposed to go see a movie with my friend, and one of my sisters was supposed to come with me. Then something happened, and my sister wasn’t allowed to go anymore, and then it was decided that I wouldn’t be allowed to go either. I think we ended up having to go visit a family member or something. In the evening, my dad told me, “Remember, friends will just be friends, but family is forever.” And he ended up saying that a lot to me in that period of my life.

3. Second Chances

My dad is the kind of guy who can hold a grudge. We have some strained relationship with some of my family members because of it. It’s because he believes that second chances are reserved for the people he really wants in his life. Depending on the strength of the bond and what happened with the first chance.

As someone who is always trying to make everyone else happy, this lesson took me a while to learn. Eventually I realized that it was better this way, because some people just don’t change, or don’t think that they do anything wrong. Keeping them out of my life would be better than giving them another chance to be a toxic relationship in my life. I appreciate my dad for this lesson.

4. What To Look For in a Husband

My dad wasn’t perfect, but I’m also not going around calling anyone “Daddy” for my pleasure. From my experiences with my dad, and from observing my dad interact with my mom, I’ve learned what I want and don’t want from my future husband.

That’s useful because then I can be mindful while I’m dating. As I meet guys, I’m thinking of behaviors and habits and actions that match what I want and don’t want. While I don’t have it down to a complete science, I have been able to weed out a few guys that wouldn’t work.

5. A Hard Work Ethic

My dad came to America as a war refugee, with just the clothes on his back. He went from having nothing to having a house, building several businesses, and a whole family. While I may fall into the procrastination trap every now and again, I won’t complain about the amount of work I have to do. That’s because I have a shrivel of understanding about what my parents had to endure for me to live the life that I have now. I’m beyond grateful, and that’s why I want to make them proud one day.

6. Challenge Yourself

There’s another distinct memory I have from middle school. I was competing with a team in a competition, and it was our first year. Since it was a new competition, I was excited when we placed third, and I called my dad and told him.

“Only third?” he scoffed.

I don’t think he meant it negatively or anything. I think that was his way of saying I could do better, and I remember that moment to this day as motivation. It motivates me to work hard, to put out 110%, and to always try and come out on top.

My dad and I don't have a lot of photos together because he doesn't like taking photos so much. This photo is older, from when we went to a Lunar New Year celebration a few years back.
My dad and I don’t have a lot of photos together because he doesn’t like taking photos so much. This photo is older, from when we went to a Lunar New Year celebration a few years back.

What is your relationship like with your dad? Do you have a favorite memory with your father? Has anyone given any thoughts on what they’re doing for Father’s Day yet? Tell me in the comments below!

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Love Always,

Kristi My