This is the fourth post of six in a series called Life Without Dad that will be made throughout 2012 about my life without my father. The first part, Life Goes On, was posted back on January 25th. The second part, Urgency & Complacency, was posted on Fathers Day. The third part Reflection & Respect, was posted on his birthday (September 4th). The last two parts will be posted on December 28th and New Years. The loss of a parent is never easy, the loss of the parent who you didn’t necessarily get along with but were always able to talk to is even harder. Thank you to all of my family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances for your support during this, the, first year of the rest of my life.
Dad, there are times when I ask myself if I am truly sacrificing everything for Mom, Masood, Frieda, Angie, and Lily. Most of these times I proceed to remind myself that a person can only sacrifice what they have and right now I have nothing. The times where I am not reminding myself that I have nothing, I start to question whether I should keep on the track I have started and become a Website Developer.
When one makes a sacrifice it has to be something they can live with the rest of their life. The thing is, if I was going to sacrifice my dream of being a Website/Software Developer then I should have dropped out of school 5 years ago when I was struggling to pass my courses or at least switch majors to business or something more broad. Masood wants me to sacrifice my independence but I started to realize over the summer that sacrificing my independence is not something that is feasible anymore.
Dad, there are many reasons for which me sacrificing my independence is no longer feasible, too many to discuss here but I am going to talk about the three that I have spent the most time thinking about recently. First and foremost, there are reasons which I do not understand but mom is unwilling to give me the privacy that I want and deserve as an adult. Secondly, no matter how old I get I will always be mom’s baby boy, as well as Frieda’s and Masood’s baby brother, there is nothing that will ever change that. This along with my anxiety problems caused by the misperception our family has of me and my inability to be independent has caused me to move out even though I am just barely able to support myself. Lastly, my job search.
Could I have given mom the money I am using to support myself instead of moving out? Dad, of course I could have, but ultimately I chose to move out instead because firstly that would not only resolve most of my anxiety and lack of privacy issues that I had living with mom. Also, I chose against doing that because if I am short one month I could just give mom less money and she would not say anything. This is no way to learn responsibility of paying my own bills. So, as a result even though I can just barely afford to support myself, I moved out.
Dad, I also mentioned that no matter how old I get I will always be mom’s baby boy, as well as Frieda’s and Masood’s baby brother. I went on to say that there is nothing that will ever change that; While this is true, I took the calculated risk of choosing to take care of myself by moving out and leaving mom on her own because I realized that if I can show them that I am able to take care of myself both financially and physically they will treat me as an adult and let me have the privacy and independence I not only want, but at this point in my life deserve.
Finally. Dad, Masood has had the idea that I am not doing enough to help the family and also am not everything it takes to find a job, in my field. The fact is, where it comes to helping the family, I feel the best way I can help the family is by getting a job in my field; I have been doing above and beyond what could be expected for a person in my situation and I am still not even getting calls to come in for an interview.
Dad, there is a stereotype that is projected on many 21st century college graduates, especially those majoring in computer fields who live in big metropolitan areas such as Chicago. The stereotype is quite simple, “He/she depends on public transportation, as a result they are lazy.” While I do depend on public transportation, I am a very hard, focused, and detailed worker.
I have passed on many job opportunities in New York, California, and Seattle, especially since you passed away, to stay close to mom; Now, though, due to my lack of privacy and independence while living with mom I have decided I am done passing on the opportunities that are here in Chicago. It is not even that I was passing on these opportunities previously but more that they were passing on me due to the stereotype I mentioned above.
Dad, since about two weeks before I moved out I have had my new address listed on my resume and have been getting more projects. Also, I have gotten a few full-time job offers and one part time postion with a non-profit organization. I passed on the full time positions because they were not willing to pay me more than minimum wage and I make more than that on all of my freelances projects.
Dad, you were the only one in this family who truly understood me; Even though I never showed, through my actions, while you were alive that I was grateful to you for everything you did for me, I am going to show it, through my actions, moving forward. Dad, I know deep down that even though you can no longer convey cryptic messages to me such as that night in early November after my interview in Crystal Lake, when in passing you said, “Einstein was a slow starter too”, that you are still watching over my left shoulder wishing you could; I have every bit of confidence that when I see you in the afterlife you will be able to praise me for taking care of mom, Masood, and Frieda the in same way you took care of us for the last 34 years. Dad, thank you for being the role model you were and teaching me to never give up.
Dad, the only lesson that will ever mean more to me than the lesson of reflection is that of RESPECT. This is something that I definitely still have my issues with and it is something I continue to work on. But these are two lessons you taught me that I continue to live by. I reflect daily on the times where I failed to respect someone else or myself and those reflections are helping me make tremendous strides to be more respectful to everyone around me.
RIP Dad. September 4, 1944 – December 28, 2011.