There seems to be this attitude amongst my generation that it’s a bad thing to turn out like our parents. Too many of my friends have this ridiculous fear of looking in the mirror someday down the road and seeing not their face, but the face of their mom or dad.
To them I say there are far worse things in the world.
In fact, I have no problem turning out like my parents. My mom was a very strong and independent single parent who gave me and my sister an upbringing I’m very fond and proud of. And my dad took me to baseball games.
Okay, I joke. I like my dad for many more reasons than that.
He also bought me peanuts.
Seriously though, if I had an issue turning out like my parents, I would be in quite the predicament. As it turns out, I’m already on my way.
A little backstory:
I was born. I grew up. I entered senior year of high school.
When it was time for me to choose a college, my family encouraged me to stay in-state and save some money. They insisted that UW and Western were fantastic schools and I could do very well there. Instead, I ended up traveling 3,000 miles across the country to attend the University of Maryland and now have extensive student loans to prove it. When it came to choosing a major, I started by declaring French, then Business, then a brief stint in Communications before finally switching over to Secondary English and Speech Education, much to my family’s chagrin (teachers don’t make enough money).
Then, I taught for a few years, pursued a master’s degree, whipped through a few other jobs, joined the Peace Corps and moved across the world, and then came back to settle as a corporate training specialist – a far jump from a high school classroom.
All of these choices were solely my own; they were based on my own likes and dislikes, my own motivations and ambitions. When I look back on all of these choices, I know without a doubt that I was pursuing my own desires. I was not living my life for anyone but myself.
But, over the years, one thing has become glaringly obvious.
I’m following in my father’s footsteps.
My dad started as an English teacher too, majoring in something artsy and out there like Scandinavian Folklore and then became a teacher. He, too, decided it wasn’t for him – the pay just wasn’t enough for raising a family – and moved through a few other random careers before landing a job with a textbook publishing company. Doing what, you might ask? Corporate training.
So, while I look at the decisions I’ve made when it comes to my major and my career choices, I can’t help but notice they aren’t completely my own. They are the same steps my dad took years ago when he was my age.
Insert “oh no, I’m turning out just like my father” comment here.
Actually, let’s not.
Truthfully, it doesn’t bother me that I’m following the same route my father took, because well, it’s a pretty darn good route!
It’s also given me and my dad things to talk about over the years. I can’t tell you the number of times I have called him to talk about teaching, or training, or education in general. We share that passion. We don’t have a similar path because I decided to consciously follow in his footsteps; rather, it is because we have a similar make up – a similar set of likes, dislikes, motivations, and aspirations. And that’s cool with me.
If turning out like my parents means I have a career I love, pastimes I enjoy, and a better connection with the people who brought me into this world and raised me to be the (sorry for the moment of arrogance) pretty darn well put together adult that I am today, then I am very happy to do it.
On a side note, my dad and I share another passion … writing. My dad, being older and wiser than I am, has written a book. A very good book I might add. And he is working on two more – a second in the same series as his original and a young adult adventure novel. I’m very proud of him. And, as you may have guessed, I too am attempting my hand at writing. Mostly I blog, but I dabble in other forms as well. It’s yet another thing we enjoy chatting about.
And, that being said … this blog entry was not only to tell you about how I’m like my father, but also to get you to ‘like’ my father … seriously, check out his blog, his Twitter, all that good stuff. His book really is awesome and you should check it out. Here’s his info:
Author’s Website: http://www.authorglenngordon.com
Happy Belated Father’s Day, Dad!