Anyone who has had the opportunity to move out of their parent’s house probably has found themselves in a similar position reflecting on this crazy thing we call life. As I sit here watching food network it got me thinking to back when things were running at a slow pace and I was watching Emeril with my parents and grandparents before going to bed at 830. While my bed time hasn’t changed all that much compared to back then, everything else has.
Staring down the barrel of graduation in about a month, I will finally be capping off my 21 year career as a student. While I will always continue to learn, it will no longer be in a classroom day in and day out. It is amazing to me how when I have so much life ahead, the first thing I do is look backwards as to what got me here. Every decision I made, every job I worked, every lesson my parents taught me, I am young at 25 years old, but I feel like so much has already happened. Today I just want to share a couple of stories so if you want to take the time to read this through, maybe it will make you reflect and reach out to that friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or call your parents because you haven’t spoken to them in a month or more. Regardless, I hope these stories hit home with you and make you think about the amazing journey you have had thus far.
Lessons from Dad: Be a provider, love the ones who love you, compliment in public and criticize in private, and it is better to have and not want than want and not have.
These are only a couple of the lessons my father has taught me over the years. As a senior chief in the United States Coast Guard, his impact on other people was so much more than I ever realized. Hearing stories about him from people he was in charge of never really hit home until I started to get out into the work force. One of the first stories I remember hearing was about how my dad stood up to the person in-charge of the office because he was disrespecting the people my dad was overseeing.
To paint the picture for you, I was 10 years old as one of my dad’s friends explained that my dad who is all of 5’6’’ stood chest to chest with the higher ranking officer stating that they could “take the bars off and shut the door if he ever was going to disrespect his people again”. The way that I have learned to lead has been by my dad’s example. Always putting those who work beside you first and making sure they know they are appreciated. The only reason you got to where you were is because someone helped you along the way. Being a role model to my brother and I couldn’t have been an easy task as we moved all over the country, but he did not do it alone.
Lessons from my Mom: Love the ones who you don’t even know, cooking is a vital skill for boys that eat twice their body weight, you have to do anything for people who would help you out in a time of need
I can’t even come up with a perfect story to explain the angel that my mom is. While my dad was a great role model growing up, my mom had to put up with him when he was doing all the dumb things that we never saw as kids. Moving was hard on us as kids, I couldn’t even imagine doing it as an adult who wasn’t in the military. Having to pick up and leave your job, that sense of comfort, and doing it without the assurance of a job wherever you moved had to have been incredibly stressful—yet she stuck through it all. I can’t even explain the amount of times my mom showed us that even if you are doing thankless work, if you do it with all of your heart, eventually the accolades will come.
If you are a parent and you feel like your kids aren’t thankful for all of the hard work you have done for them….give it time, they will realize it eventually.
My brother: Never fall in line, take risks, follow what you love and don’t let anything hold you back
You know after almost 23 years together I have to give a shout out to my best friend. I know some people aren’t that close to their siblings, but when you are moving across the country and you only have one consistent person you age; they sort of just become a part of who you are. Growing up I remember constantly telling him he wasn’t going to have friends if he kept tattling and that he should be able to catch the football no matter how hard I threw it at him. Looking back I probably was kind of a jerk haha but if part of the reason he turned out as successful as he is today is because he felt like I supported him in any decision he made then I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Coming to a small town, my brother never quite felt at home I don’t think. He made friends with some people, but he always had his sights set on something greater. That ambition has always made me strive to be the best version of myself that I could be. I feel like there has always been a healthy competition between us but we were always playing on the same team. Growing up he was always my first (or second if someone else bigger was there) pick for sports, and he always introduced me to the most interesting people and places. I am still not sure how the plans always seem to workout when he is involved because typically there is no plan, but I guess that leaves a lot of doors open for success.
My friends: distance means nothing, be who you are because no one will actually like you if you fake it, never take that extra shot at 2am…okay maybe just one more
If you have a friend you haven’t seen or heard from in a while, reach out and cold call them. No matter how long it has been, if you were once best friends, you are forever family. My long-time friend and one of my other brothers recently asked me to be his best man in his wedding. We haven’t lived in the same state in 10 years; however, we both know that if something happened we would be there. I am going to save his stories for the best man speech down the road...
My high school and college friends are second to none. The number or late nights we have had just doing nothing but playing euchre and having a couple drinks, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Specifically for my college friends, the memories (or lack thereof) that we shared together will never be matched. Undergrad was a special time in my life and I am so lucky to have spent it at the U of I surrounded by such amazing and driven people. No matter how long it has been since we have seen each other, we can still call out ILL-INI before slamming down a shot of Malort or Rumpiez
Finally my friends/family in PT school; the three years we have spent together are almost up. I know it has been rough since the beginning, but no one else will be able to relate to the memories we have made together. Down the road I know we will meet up with our families and loved ones, coming together for weddings and random parties only to fall back into complaining about group projects and tests that kicked our ass.
Basically this post is just about how thankful I am for all of the people in my life. I thoroughly appreciate you making it to the end of this post and for being a part of my journey. I have made so many connections over the last several years that I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for everyone. If you made it to the bottom here can you like my initial Facebook status so I know you feel appreciated and realize that I am where I am today because we met or have shared a conversation together.
Happy Friday my friends—until next week!
I am a new graduate DPT and am interested in personal growth and becoming a connector within my profession.