When I was in third grade, I did not enjoy learning math and I was not good at it. I remember failing math and having to go to summer school. My father was not pleased; he was a math genius. He could not believe his own daughter could not grasp the mathematical material. Every single day of that summer my father made me recite the times tables and do math problems. Then when I went on to fourth grade, I became a lot better in math and started getting hundreds on all my tests. My father would see my tests, but he was not satisfied. He would tell me, “A hundred, what about two hundred?” I would tell him that hundreds were the highest grades. He yearned for me to strive beyond compare; he had high expectations for me. From then on he instilled in me that I need to work not to the best of my ability, but beyond that. He believed in me, now all I had to do was believe in myself. For the longest time I would not understand why he was not content with my efforts. As time went on, my father revealed his past to me and told me the struggles he had to go through as a young man, and then I began to comprehend.
My father grew up in Dominican Republic with ten brothers and sisters. He did not have the opportunity to finish school because he had to work to help support his family. Ever since I was young I have seen his passion for learning. I believe that my father wants to live his dreams through me. Since he feels he was not successful enough in life, he sees so much potential in me to become a professional and work in the “real world.” He often ponders about my future; he tells me “I cannot wait to see you in your business suit.” I wish I could see myself through his eyes. I do not believe I can achieve many things. Especially, being a college student and seeing my semester is not going well, I do not feel confident enough to be what my father sees.
In the time being, what comforts me is that my father sees greatness in me. Without any hesitance he is paying my college tuition. College has opened my eyes and has brought me to new horizons. I believe my father has opened the gate of opportunity for me so that he may see his dream lived through me. Although I do not see the potential in me, I believe my father’s hope is enough to get me through in life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.