My Inspiration

Samantha - Peoria, Arizona
Entered on April 17, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks

My dad doesn’t talk about his childhood much. I guess you could say its a subject of the past, one he’d rather not bring up again. But over the years I’ve been able to gather bits of information, fitting the pieces together in a not so pretty picture. To make a long story short, my dad was physically and emotionally abused, neglected, and intentionally put in dangerous situations. He went through things that no child should have to experience, but he refused to feel sorry for himself. His childhood made him into a strong, driven, and goal oriented person who does not give up on anything. I believe that no matter what your circumstances are, it is very much so possible to turn your situation around and create a better life for yourself.

One side of my family is known for their alcoholism; a select few of them have been involved in drugs as well. Which side? You guessed it, my dads. He was surrounded by drunks all through his childhood, it was simply their unfortunate way of life. It would have been so easy for my dad to repeat that same lifestyle, the only one he had ever known. Being the strong person that he is, my dad chose a different road. He hardly ever drinks and when he does he definitely does not let the alcohol control his life. My aunt was not so lucky, and fell into the same pattern of life as her mother raised her in. She is an alcoholic, a drug user, and I would personally say that she is mentally unstable. My dad has given her money on multiple occasions, and has even put her in hotel rooms when she is temporarily homeless. I only wish my aunt was able to do what my dad did by creating a better and more stable life for himself.

Growing up, my dad never had a consistent male role model active in his life. His biological father left a year after he was born, and has had no contact with him since. When his mom remarried, she wasn’t too picky with her selection. My dads new stepfather abused him, eventually causing him to move out of the house at the young age of 16. He stayed with friends when he could, but when he couldn’t he was homeless and left on the streets. Throughout my childhood, my dad has been a very loving and responsible father towards my sister and I. My parents have been divorced for a while now, but my dad continues to pay child support along with paying for many other things. He is also very active in our lives, my sister and I talk to him every day, we see him every weekend, and we go on vacation together every summer. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful, caring father in my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do if he turned out to be the same as his dead beat dad.

Due to his childhood circumstances, my dad never quite made it to college. It is said that people with a bachelors degree earn twice as much money as someone with just a high school diploma. However this statistic does not hold true for my dad. At a young age he became a part of a plastering company starting out in the field doing manual labor. He is now the Vice President of the company, a direct result of his hard work and dedication. My dad earns more than enough money to create a comfortable lifestyle for himself and our family, which was never something he had growing up. Even though he never made it to college, my dad has instilled the importance of education into my sister and I. We are both currently in college and my dad is there supporting us every step of the way. He is very proud of both of us and continues to help us create well-balanced lives for ourselves.

As cheesy as this may sound, my dad is my hero. He has proven to me that you can turn any situation around and create a much better one. My dad has also taught me that anything is possible as long as you are determined to make it happen. I am so grateful to him for not turning out like the rest of his family. His better life not only benefited him, but has had a huge impact on my sister and I as well. I strive to follow his footsteps, he has truly inspired me to believe.