Hands down, my father is my best friend. He is the person I turn to when I'm having the worst day or when I receive amazing news; he is the person I turn to when my friends are pissing me off and the guy I turn to when my boyfriend is being a pain in my ass. He tells me what I need to hear without the sugar coating because, like me, he sees no reason to dance around a subject.
He taught me to tackle things head on to the best of my ability. He taught me to strive for more than the average and that I really could achieve anything I put my mind to. Without my father, I would probably have no degree, no apartment, no job and certainly no support system.
Many people give me looks of pity upon hearing I have no mother in my life, but I just laugh at the thought because they have no idea how amazing my father is. He fills the role of both parents too well, which is something a lot of single parents have trouble doing.
Sure, my dad may treat me like a son from time to time: calling me with New York Ranger updates and yelling about plays I could not understand for the life of me. It explains why I have a Green Bay Packers license plate on my car and the reason all of my baby photos are of me dressed in various sports teams uniforms.
But hey, I can't complain because, without him, I wouldn't be able to make 10 free throws in a row and differentiate between a field goal and a touchdown.
My father is one of the strongest people I have ever known and no I am not being biased. I have never seen someone overcome so much adversity and still remain so strong, with a positive attitude. Without him, I would not be the person I am today and I have him to thank for every accomplishment I have ever made.
These are the lessons I learned as a girl being raised by her father:
1. No man who wastes your time is worth your time
I remember one night I was being a little brat during family dinner, snapping at everything my relatives said. My dad looked at me and looked at my lap because he knew I was shadily texting under the dinner table. He looked me straight in the eye and asked, "What the f*ck is that boy saying to you now?" I handed him my phone and waited as he read through the conversation.
His response? "This guy is a pussy and one who is most definitely not worth your time, energy or aggravation. You are 22 years old and you do not need to be dealing with sh*t like this at this point in your life. Nix him and move on. You are strong and you are my daughter and you don't need BS like this draining your incredible energy."
Ever since then, I have never, ever let a guy dictate anything I have done. Sure I may still be single, but I am a hell of a lot happier than I can ever remember.
2. Your happiness is more important than your paycheck
Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to grow up and be a lawyer. I studied Political Science in college, took the LSAT and applied to schools accordingly. Upon receiving my score and acceptance letters, my father sat me down and told me: "I know you better than you know yourself and as much as you may think this is the road you want to take, you need to try it out before you invest your time, energy and all of my money."
Laughing, I saw his point and agreed and tested the waters as a paralegal before I drained my family's savings dry. Once a week for eight months, at the end of the work day I would call my dad hysterically crying because every person I worked with was more miserable than the next.
This was definitely not the life for me and we both knew it. Then I found my home here at Elite Daily. It was the best decision we ever made, and one I will cherish for the rest of my life. At the end of the day, how you feel about your life is more important that the dollar amount on your paycheck and that is a lesson I will never, ever forget.
3. One small failure doesn't prevent you from greater success
I can't do math; I just can't do it. I can't add without using my fingers, I can't figure out a tip without a calculator and, to this day, I don't even have a credit card because I can't wrap my head around the concept of budgeting.
No matter how many tutors I worked with, I still couldn't grasp any mathematical concepts, which led to some pretty sh*t grades in this aspect of college.
My dad, being the financial and mathematical genius he is, assured me that if I worked hard in all other aspects, my true talent would shine through and this one struggle would not determine my future success. Well, fast-forward six years, and I can actually write a check and pay my own rent -- so screw you College Algebra, I'm doing just fine without you.
4. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you're limited in your options
Being a female does not make you inferior to your male counterparts; in fact, it makes you stronger because you have to overcome stereotypes.
Women can be and often are just as successful as men in the workforce, and in essentially any aspect of life.
My father taught me not to let an ignorant man who is intimidated by a strong woman prevent my own success.
5. A good parent isn't a right, it's a privilege
Having a great family is something many people take for granted. Until you are lacking in this area, you can't really seem to grasp that concept.
Would I love to have two great parents? Of course I would, but I wouldn't trade my situation in for anyone else's. I love my unique dynamic and it has turned me into the person I am today.
Just because you are related to someone does not mean that person will be there for you or love you unconditionally. Many people take their amazing families for granted and on this Father's Day, I just want to acknowledge how much I love and appreciate the family I am a part of.
6. Obstacles are there to make you stronger, not to tear you down
There are only two ways to handle adversity: let it consume you and bring you down or tackle it head on and overcome it. Eleven years ago, my father had his life turned upside down after being involved in a horrific car accident.
He went from an active lifestyle to a sedentary one, after being told he would never walk again. Most people would take that news to heart and sink into a dark hole of depression. Most people, however, are not my father.
He ignored the words of professionals and has since graduated from his wheelchair and walks remarkable distances with the assistance of a walker.
He is a reminder to me and everyone he knows that if you set your mind to something, you can create your own miracles. If that isn't proof, then I really don't know what is.
7. You should never rely on someone else for your own happiness
The only person who is responsible for making you happy is yourself. You cannot rely on other people for this because one moment they can be in your life and the next moment they could be gone. And then what are you left with? Misery. My father taught me one of the most important things in life is to realize this.
If you aren't happy with who you are as a person, then no one else will want to be around you. Misery may love company, but there's no company quite like someone who is happy and secure in life.
8. Just because someone is your friend one day, doesn't mean that person will be your friend the next day
People aren't always meant to play permanent roles in your life and that's perfectly okay. You meet a lot of different people in your life, some who teach you valuable lessons then move on, and some who stick by your side through thick and thin. The latter group is filled with the people you want to hold on to because they actually care about your well-being.