My Dad Bob.
Parents always say they work hard to give their children the life they didn’t have. This is very true for my parents.
I was thinking about my dad. He is so generous with me. He always has been. Somehow, I still have an incredible work ethic. I mean, I started my own dance camps when I was 11 years old. I just knew that I could do it. My parents told me so.
Those camps were some of the best days of my life, and I bet if you asked any camper that attended, they would agree. They were special. I had to move on and learn more things, or learn things a different way, so I let go of those camps. And now, two decades later, I am venturing towards starting my adult version of dance camps with my dance company Accendere. It’s my holy grail, my first true love, and I will work and fight for it to become a reality. At this point, money is the only thing holding me back.
My dad didn’t grow up rich, in fact, quite the opposite. He has worked hard to create the life he leads.
My dad has money, and I say that with pride.
Many people feel weird talking about money. I had a hard time relating until I had none. When I had none, I was in a pretty rough spot. I hated money. But then I figured out the truth: I wasn’t listening to my inner voice. I wasn’t doing the things that made me feel good, and so I became unhappy. And when you are unhappy, you tend not to have much drive… And when you don’t have drive your work is much harder/you do things you hate just for money, and then you don’t have as much money. You lose your confidence, and then it is hard to spark much of anything.
That all happened to me, btw, and I figured out how to break the cycle: I needed to remember to love myself. All I needed to do was to remember to believe in myself. My parents played crucial roles in instilling this belief into me.
My dad’s gift to me, while I was growing up, was that he believed in himself, too. He started his own company when I was very little. He had to make sacrifices because that’s just the way his world was back then. He had to miss parts of my life and my brother Stephen’s life that I know he desperately wanted to be there for. It’s funny though, he tells me he wasn’t around all that much, but I have SO many memories of him. Maybe I’m even inserting him into memories that he wasn’t a part of… I think I know why. The reason is because I always feel my parents with me. They were so direct and clear with the lessons they taught me.
They read me amazing books that I morphed and merged into a part of their being… The lessons that we learned through reading together are invaluable. I can still hear both my mom and my dad both reading from The Little Engine That Could… “I think I can, I think I can!”
So, Dad, if you’re reading this, know that you were there with me, and that he gifts you gave me by showing me how to believe in myself were greater than showing up to a school play.
By being a successful salesman, my dad was able to support my dreams. Both my mom and my dad helped me immensely with my dance camps. They taught me how to do things for myself, and when I couldn’t do them (read: drive a car (I was 12) around Marietta to put flyers in every person’s mailbox) they willingly, sometimes regrettably, came along for my “ride”. They may not have loved helping me with everything, but they did it (until they didn’t have to). I took over the driving, and I tried to only ask for help when I really needed it. (Disclaimer: I needed it a lot, still.)
My dad had many panic attacks when I came rushing into his room at 3am to ask him how to use a function on his high tech video editor. But still, year after year, from age 10 to 22, I ran my dance camps. Most of them were out of the basement of my parent’s house, and ALL of them included HUGE support from both of my parents.
Moving ahead to the present moment… Drew and I were talking about things that worry us. We are making a big move to Austin, TX, and it is definitely a risk for both of us. We are moving to a city we’ve only visited a handful of times collectively. But there’s just this thing telling me it’s okay. And it sometimes comes in the form of my dad’s voice.
How lucky am I to have parents that have such a beautiful, guiding voice in my head?
Drew thinks I may rely on my dad too much, financially that is. But, at this point in my life, I disagree. I know how to work hard. I accept help from my dad because I know he wants me to chase my dreams. He wants me to live the life I most desire to live. And in the past, I’ve made mistakes with his money. I’ve bought a Starbucks latte and a yogurt every morning for months on end. I’ve purchased expensive clothes that I didn’t need. Hell, I’ve even let a laptop FLY off of the roof of my car because I was in a hurry.
However, I’ve learned from my mistakes. Asking my dad to invest in my ideas for changing the world seems like the most logical thing ever to me. He wants this for me. Genuinely.
I believe in myself and I believe in my husband. I know we are both good people who want to help make the world better. I have so many ideas, and I need help to bring almost all of them to life. I need Drew, I need my dad, I need my mom, I need my close friends, and I need like-minded people who want to evolve, grow and HELP! Together, I know we can make beautiful, beautiful things.
So, on this Father’s Day, I want to give a special shout out to my dad, Bob. Thank you for being you, Dad. Thank you for living your life, for boldly starting your own company all of those years ago, and for teaching me how to be a gentle leader. (I’m still working on the gentle part.) Thank you for showing me that if you want something, you can get it. Thank you for picking up the guitar and learning how to play a song that spoke to you for my wedding. Thank you for always telling me everything will be okay. Thank you for your endless love. I hope I can repay you for all of the beautiful gifts and moments you’ve given me.