Most people don’t know I was raised by a single parent, – a single father. Growing up without a mother I didn’t realize the impact on me until I got older and was able to looked at how I had to teach myself everything I know about how to be a woman. My dad tried his best to help, but let’s be real there’s only so much a man can relate to adolescent periods. Having a mother there to initiate me would have been much more comfortable for all.
Looking back at old pictures of myself with damaged short hair, and struggle braids I sometimes wonder what my hair would’ve looked like with a mom in my life. I have a vivid memory of when I was younger, in second grade playing outside during recess. As mean as little kids can be, I was told that my hair “look like a diaper should be on it”, I then remember crying running to the bathroom, and the teachers trying their best to console me. They even tried to help with my hair, as I didn’t even want to come out the bathroom. My crying 2nd grade-self stared into the mirror, I failed to realize that it wasn’t them I needed, it was my mom. I look back on this experience now also wondering what it might have been like to experience a mother in my life. I was missing my mom from my life at the most important years a daughter needs her mom. Although, this may have been one of the biggest challenges in my life, it also influenced me on becoming the person I am today.
Since an early age, I always watched my father working hard, I knew I wanted to be successful, and I knew that it would be something I would have to work hard for in order to reach. My dad has always drilled the importance of work ethics to me. And by the age of sixteen, I started my first part-time job. This enabled me to learn at an early age, to work hard for what I want. As I grew up, I watched my father balance attending grad school, switching in and out of unstable jobs, and of course raising my brother and I. Seeing this made me realize that I could do almost anything through hard work and dedication.
Being raised by a single father has been such an essential key to my identity, because my father has always shown me that dedication, hard work, and sacrifice is what it takes to be a strong person. These qualities are what I strive for with all the things I may face along my journey in life. My father has overall shaped my work ethic and helped guide my perspective on how to work hard for what I want. And the strong and endless support, given by my father, gives me the courage to go for my goals and to try my hardest at bettering myself whether it is at school, in the work place, or during sports.
The strong relationship I’ve built with my dad has helped me develop who I am. I always try to see the positive sides of things, growing up in a single parent home to me, is not necessarily a hardship, or what people may consider as a hardship, but as an overall helpful and motivating learning experience. Ultimately, I find growing up with a single parent to have made me a better person. Someone, who has learned the values of hard work, dedication, and overall, how to be strong during your biggest hardships. I can never fully express the gratitude and appreciation for all the things my dad has sacrificed for me.