Daddy's Little Girl

May 21, 2012
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In life, there are people whom we encounter that touch our very spirit and motivate us in a way that enables us to reach our full potential. Despite the unfortunate truth that these people are hard to come by, they do exist, and without them relaying to us their encouragement, love, and advice it would be unfeasible, if not unrealistic to gain the goals we seek. In fact, even the leaders whom we commend for their inspiration to us, had someone who first inspired them: Martin Luther King Jr. had an unbreakable relationship with his grandmother, while Oprah Winfrey felt “shiny” for the first time in the eyes of her fourth grade teacher. Both of the two have influenced people in diverse areas of the world and it is certainly difficult to imagine who or what they would have become without the help of those inspirational people in their life. One day, I hope to be able to help people and inspire them to be somebody, and I know that to do this, to be able to help support people, I need support as well, which is why I am happy to acknowledge that I have the support of a few amazing people in my life. People like my dad do not hold back in his dreams for me or himself, which is why I believe that maybe with his help, I can grow up to inspire a few others.


My father and I, simply put, have not always had the best relationship. I was never daddy’s little girl, and I never really minded. As I grew up though, our arguments grew stronger and more hurtful, filled with insults I refuse to repeat, and sorries that were never heard. It’s strange, though, that I may be more like him than my mother, in fact I just recently realized I even look like him a little, only in a younger girl form. Truthfully, we share a lot of the same attributes, but at the same time we have a lot of differences that inhibit the relationship that we could have. Nonetheless, even since I was a little girl he has had a huge impact on my life. I can faintly remember being about four years old, repeating the phrase that he taught me to an aunt, “first comes high school diploma, then comes college, then comes marriage, then comes baby” and I can remember exactly what he told me when I learned I would be going to a new school for fourth grade. He told me that if I could get A’s and a few B’s at my new school, I’d have a better opportunity to get into a good college, this was in third grade mind you. I think the reason why I can remember these statements is because they pretty much epitomize what my father wants for me. I guess it is a bit of the pressure from him that pushes me, and the fact that I do want to make him proud, as he has no problem bragging about my younger brother and I when we do something well.

However, I think part of the reason why he wants us to work so hard is because that is exactly what he had to do when he was younger, as he had a much different life than us. As a child, his stories would upset me and I would hear them so often that I told myself he was exaggerating to keep from being sad about it, and it was not until my aunt reaffirmed what he dictated that I truly believed it. He told my brother and me stories of being scolded for trying to study by flashlight at night because he was wasting electricity. He told us stories of being poor and not having any food in the refrigerator at all, so that he and his three siblings would have to wait extensive periods until they were able to eat. Furthermore, he told us about how life was while living in a country that was experiencing one of the most important movements it would face, The Civil Rights Movement. As my father was born in the late 1940s, he was aware of everything going on about him, especially because he attended a school that had a majority white population. But, in one of the most personally upsetting stories he told to me, he was kicked out of a restaurant in Baltimore in the 1960’s. He was not causing a scene, he was not hurting anyone, he was simply being the one thing that he couldn’t help, he was being black. I was well aware that people were kicked out of restaurants and public places, as I am sure most people are, but to have that happen to someone who I personally know, someone who is of blood relation, is eye-opening, especially when realizing that at that time, it could have possibly been me who would have been refused service. Sure, my father may not always be the easiest to talk to, but when we truly get into a deep conversation, it is very insightful, and I always walk away hopeful. Now that I think about it, I never really know what I hope for after our talks, maybe that things will get better in the world, maybe that we will get closer, or maybe it’s that I can be a little more like him when I grow up. I have to admit that I am thankful for the values that he instilled in me and the fact that he is willing to do a lot to support me. So although, I’m not sure if my father knows this, he truly does inspire me and has inspired me, especially by showing me that having a vision and goal is the best thing you can have, and they can never be stolen from you.





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