Earlier this week, my dad and I had a conversation that I'll probably never forget.
I've always admired my dad for being a hardworking man as well as a good husband and father, but it never hit me how hard being all of those things could be until I became an adult.
Granted, I still don't have kids, and I couldn't possibly imagine myself having some when I'm still struggling with school, and that's exactly what a lot of twenty-year-olds feel like.
Adulting is a difficult, new thing for many of us, and it's ridiculously easy to let it consume us even when nothing's really happening.
I always kind of took it for granted you know, everything my dad ever gave me, until it was time for me to step into his adult shoes and try to make a name for myself in this scary world.
Suddenly, it was just me out there having to deal with insane amounts of homework and the stress of not doing well on exams, wondering if I'm being social enough to have connections in the future, not to mention the constant reminder of how expensive school is and how failure in this world isn't an option.
When I told my dad this, he basically laughed. It wasn't meant to hurt me, but it did because that was just more proof to me that he really didn't understand what it was like to be in my shoes.
Almost instantly he regretted laughing and cleared his throat. "It's easy for you to forget that you're not alone," he said. "You have your mom and me in your corner, always there to help you."
It was then that he told me stories about his childhood and the struggles he went through as a person up to now. He reminded me that struggles never really go away, but with the better part of time, they fix themselves.
After 21 years, I saw my dad in a new light, and I couldn't help but be grateful for it.
"We're all different," he said at one point. "We all have different struggles, but we all feel pain, and it's okay to feel pain, just remember that you are never alone—no matter who you may be."
I'm not sure if you know how grateful I am to have a father like you.
Thank you for reminding me that there's no shame in failing as long as you get back up with the condition to pursue your dream twice as hard.
Thank you for not really understanding how depression and anxiety work but for still giving me my space and doing the best you can to make sure I'm okay.
Not many parents do that you know; mental health is something that's still not understood. Not just by your generation, but by many in mine as well. You still try, and that's more than I could ever ask for.
Thank you for reminding me that you'll always be in my corner, supporting me no matter what.
I'm ridiculously proud to say that you're my hero, and I wouldn't want it any other way.