What’s up y’all? Let me start by saying Happy Father’s day to all the Father’s, Step Father’s, and Father figures out there.
Father’s day has always been a bit weird for me, I’ve never met my dad and to be quite honest, I’m okay with that. My mom did a spectacular job of raising my brother and me on her own. But, this post isn’t about all that, I want to talk about my step dad, Michael, and what I’ve learned about manhood in the few years that I’ve known him, and also what I’ve learned growing up without a father.
There are many things I could list about what I’ve learned from Michael, but, for the sake of y’all’s short attention span, I’ve shortened it to three things. Action, Hard work, and Decision.
Michael has shown me that actions are far more valuable than words. I think the best example of this is shown my senior year of high school. I was frustrated I wasn’t getting the playing time I felt that I deserved. One night I was complaining after a game and Michael asked me why I felt like that. Of course I spouted off all my abilities, my work ethic, and this and that, but, he asked me if I had shown the coaches that. Not told, but shown. I realized that I can say I’m talented and I deserve it, but, it doesn’t mean a damn thing unless you show it and earn it.
I think most everyone can relate to having a hard working dad, but, I have never seen the dedication of getting something done right quite like my stepdad. I’ll have to embarrass my best friend, Mykel, here for a second. There was one summer he was working and his truck crapped out on him (for the 50th time) and he had too much going on to get it fixed so my stepdad, Michael, (too many michaels) offered to help us fix it. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing quite like the frustration of being told to re-do something over and over because it wasn’t quite good enough or I was doing it wrong. I learned an important lesson that day though. Whenever you do something, do it right, and with everything you got. I learned not to take life with a half-ass approach. Whether it be fixing a truck, building a career, or even a relationship, you do it right and you give it your all.
And finally, Michael has shown me to be a man of decision and living with my decisions. Both of my parents have been absolutely phenomenal in the sense, they let me make my own decisions. And more importantly they let me learn from the mistakes I’ve made. Michael is always there to give me advice, but, he never tells me what I can or cannot do, he has taught me that life is all about decisions, and we can either own up and take responsibility or keep making the same mistakes over and over. He doesn’t remind me to make my car payment, or tell me what time I need to be at work. Because he has set the expectation that manhood is making decisions, and taking care of your business.
I also wanted to talk a little bit about what I’ve learned growing up without a dad. First thing is, IT IS OKAY TO DO THINGS BY YOURSELF. I get it, being alone and doing things on your own absolutely sucks. But, don’t let that stop you from doing something you want to do. It’s okay to go out to eat by yourself, or to the movies, even a road trip by yourself. Take in the surroundings, talk to people you don’t know, get lost in a good book or in your own thoughts.
Even though I’m from Arkansas, I’ve never been to Hot Springs. I’ve wanted to go for awhile now, but, never did because I didn’t want to be alone. Guess what ya boy did today? That’s right, he went to Hot Springs, by himself, and I had a great time. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own.
The second thing is, sometimes you need to let go of your pride and ask for help. I’ll be honest with y’all, the first time I got a flat tire, I had NO idea how to fix it or change it. I didn’t want to ask for help changing it, I’m 22 years old, I’m suppose to know this by now, right? Well maybe so, but, I didn’t. We can’t know it all, and some things weren’t taught to us. It’s okay to ask for help. I learned that it’s not weak to admit you don’t know something, it’s weak to think you know it all.
I appreciate y’all taking the time to read this, let’s make things more interesting and please comment or send me a story of a lesson that y’all’s dads have taught ya.
Live and Learn
Get better every day,