Like many people I have spent my life trying to find happiness as well as make those around me proud. I know it is important that I be proud of myself but understandably I want my friends and family to smile and be glad when they think of me. I have fought insecurities and years of psychological torment in order to finally feel like I am in a place to do just that.
I grew up playing sports. I was involved in soccer, hockey, softball, swimming and diving, gymnastics and dance. I have always had the performance bug so dance remained with me from toddler through adulthood. It is just a hobby now but there was a time I thought it could become something more. People would tell me that I was easy to pick out on stage because I was so purely happy to perform. While I have rhythm I do lack a certain level of coordination making many sports difficult. I managed to play soccer, hockey and even softball for years but I earned nicknames which to this day are hurtful because I was not very good.
Sadly those names came from my father which made them all the worse. Not only was I terrible at playing the game but I was letting him down. He never knew that when I got home from my games I would go to my room and cry. In fact there was only one standout game in my hockey life where I scored a hat trick was also the only game my dad ever missed. It was extremely disheartening when I learned what a hat trick even was, and how difficult they are to do, then looked into the stands to finally see him be proud of me but realize he wasn't there.
He was a great dad in many ways, he did support me and told me he loved me but I still felt like most of my life I let him down. After he passed away I took some money he left for me and quit my job to go back to school. I got my degree and felt like I did something worthy of his admiration. I struggled but overcame my severe insecurities and traveled overseas to do volunteer work and ultimately moved across the country on my own in order to establish myself. Things again I feel would have made him smile. Last year I published my book Never Give Up which made me proud of myself and I swear I could feel him beaming from within my heart.
All of these things I have done to try and make him look down and be proud to call me his daughter. This past weekend I participated in a charity bike ride covering forty miles and then played in a softball double header where I was actually able to hold my own as a helpful member of the team. Oddly enough the pride in myself from these physical accomplishments gave me a drive to write today and push past some of the painful and emotional parts in my current works. For the first time in a great while I feel as though my dad has pulled up a chair next to me at the computer and is encouraging me telling me he couldn't possibly be more proud.