My dad has always been full of life and of many words. So many words that you would get annoyed with him because he sounded like a broken record. Those times weren’t the best, especially if you were in trouble.
“I knowwwww, Dad. You don’t have to tell me for the millionth time.” I would say. I bet some of you can relate!
Growing up in America with foreign parents was embarrassing, but made me prouder of my heritage as I got older. My dad is more lax compared to other Asian dads, in that he wasn’t the authoritative parent who pushed me to do things. Perhaps that stereotype is for Asian mothers only since that was my mom’s doing. He may not have been pushy, but he still compared me with my friends, asking me why can’t I be like so and so. He repeated things whenever I did something wrong. That’s how deep our conversations were. Fast forward to present day, he has learned how to text message, and has no problem telling me what to do, even though he’s living across the country.
Beep! *text message notification*
“Get your shits together, Tina!!” the text from my dad would lovingly say.
“Stop wasting time! Time waits for no one!” on other days.
My dad texts me this reminder everyday as he knows I am still in grad school and not working at an internship yet.
In my last post, I wrote about my insecurities about finding a job/internship site. I was sad that day and text my dad before he could send me his daily reminder text. That was the last thing I needed to hear.
“Dad, I don’t think I can work. I have too much anxiety. I think I will end up being a bum.” I wrote. His response, “Okay, be a bum! At least you’re in Florida!” Whatever that means.
That evening, I spoke to him on the phone. My older brother just flew in to San Francisco to visit with my dad and my other older brother, whom my dad is living with at the moment. They were eating out at The Sizzler when I called to say hi. My dad and I talked for a while, and thinking he wouldn’t bring up my text message from earlier, he told me something that I desperately needed to hear.
“Tina, just think positive. be excited to be alive. I wake up every morning with excitement even though I go to dialysis. I’m excited to go to dialysis. You must always think positive. Don’t dwell on yesterday because every morning you wake up, you get a brand new day. Remember that.” he said matter-of-factly.
I didn’t know what to say. All I could think of was, “Okay, Dad. Thank you. I will remember that.”
Maybe it was the steak and potatoes that The Sizzler prompted him to be nice and coherent. Maybe it was that my brother made it out there safely. Whatever it was, it made me happy and I know it will be a conversation I will remember for as long as I live.
The next day, I went to the internship meeting with the woman who said she needed a more experienced worker. Even though the place didn’t work out, I at least made it there and did my best. I was excited for the new opportunity and not scared of it.
So, as we start this new week, I wanted to share my dad’s advice with you. Think positive and be excited for every morning. Be excited for the new opportunities your day may bring. Life is too short to be apprehensive and to sell your amazing self short.
The next day after my dad’s heartfelt talk, I get a message from my dad saying, “Get your shits together, Tina!” I told you he was like a broken record.