Anybody that reads my writing often may notice that I talk about my father a lot, this is not only that I hold great admiration for him; but also because of his openness and the wisdom he shares with the five of us.
Coming from humble beginnings; he is a man of few words, and it’s difficult to really describe or understand what his childhood must’ve been like.
Since I’m always open with my dad about my pursuit, and he’s never discouraged me from at least trying, I felt it was the right moment to ask why he became a Lawyer?
He’s a great writer, someday maybe I can be just as good as him; but he never pursued it as a career, though his writings can be found scattered throughout the house.
He helps write laws instead, and enforce them as such.
I’m not going to lie about the fact that I’ve had a quite privileged and blessed life, considering I never had to worry about earning a living until I graduated from university.
Raising five children might not have been easy either, especially since me and my elder sisters were all born nearly a year apart.
Hence, simply put — since my father has been so encouraging and proud of my pursuit of writing; it seemed fair to put the question forward.
“Why’d you never pursue writing?”
“There wasn’t much choice back then, we did what was traditionally accepted.”, he said in calm demeanour.
It struck a chord with me, and a sudden realisation came of how ungrateful and blessed I am to have all the options society has provided me with today.
It might be easy to say, I know I do a few times; “Aww man life is so difficult”.
I’ve often even said to my parents, “You guys had it so easy” (I’m a real jerk, sometimes).
Thing is though, he’s right.
We have too many options today, too much to complain about.
Back then, back then poverty felt like the decades that followed would be full of the same troubles.
Today, poverty feels beatable.
Children were much stronger back then, the environment was a lot harsher.
Hard-work was engrained within the upbringing, rather than learning to swipe on an iPad.
The realisation being, too much comfort and options made me a weaker human being.
But back then, back then there weren’t many options.
They did what they had to do, they didn’t get to think about their dreams or the bigger picture.
It was brick by brick, hard-work, pursuit, and following a professional career.
Job loyalty was valued, people stuck to their words, and weren’t so easily offended.
My dad has worked at the same place where he first started his career (go figure).
I’ve shuffled through six jobs so far.
They were thick-skinned and had better survival instincts.
We have iPhones and Comfy Mattresses, my dad had a cemented floor with a carpet on it.
I know the reality is we evolved, we improved, we innovated; and it’s true.
It also made us weaker, made us more sensitive, made us crave attention and affirmation constantly.
Made us want to share every thing, post for likes, demand attention.
Complain when the internet is slow.
Back then, back then my Dad had to study under a street-light because keeping the electricity on was not an option.
My dad didn’t need a valium when he felt anxious, he had to work through it; keep going, he didn’t get to make excuses.
Me? I get panicky, pop a valium, put on my favourite record, and type into this computer screen. That’s me.
Sure times have changed, and sure they’ve changed for the better.
People evolve and the hard work put in place by our ancestors has led us to where we are today, comfortable and open to options.
As such, my duty is to utilise to the best of my abilities — the foundation laid down by my parents to make my life easier, to utilise the tools made available to me in pursuit of achieving my goals. To learn to be grateful, and not complain too much.
Most of all, never undermine the hard work of the people that built the resources to be sustainable for me to have a more comfortable future.
So when I ask my father why work the same job and not pursue writing,
He smiles and replies, “We never stopped to wonder why”.
Thank you for reading.