This I Believe

John - Anderson, California
Entered on October 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

When many people hear the phrase “struggling”, they think about money and what hardship it causes on one’s life. This may be the biggest struggle people encounter, but many others are overlooked.

One of the biggest struggles I have been forced to over come throughout my life as a young man is that I don’t have a dad. Many people are fortunate enough to have this luxury, they are lucky enough to have a male role model impact their daily life, as for me; well I don’t have this luxury. All though I’m not the only one without a dad, but I have experienced the trauma it may cause a young boy growing up, not being able to have that one person always there to guide you, which is there to understand you. I always wanted to come home and be able to spill my heart and soul to my dad, my father; I never once had this luxury. I know how hard it is to grow up only having a mother, having to do all the guy stuff firsthand with no previous experience, not having anyone to guide you through that first year of sports, or the first time you have to shave. You have to do it all on your own, whether you like it or not. You have to create your own destiny, your own life story.

Some young boys and girls wonder if there is something wrong with them, if it was their fault their dad’s didn’t want them, didn’t want to be there for them and love and cherish everything about them. I know this all too well, countless nights have came upon me where I just sat up all night and thought, did I do something wrong, was I not what my father wanted, is it my fault I have this burden on my shoulder of not having a role model of my own to help me mold myself into a great young man. Then I realize, why have someone there to make you into who you are, why not just do it yourself. Control your own destiny; don’t let others do it for you. I have done this own my own, became the great young man I am all by myself.

There are alternatives to staying up late and wondering about who’s fault it is, why I don’t have a dad. And those alternatives are adapting to a second family, find a male role model that you are willing to keep in your life, let them be there for you as much as you are there for them. I have done this myself. I have adapted to a whole second family to help influence me; they are my other family, always there for me when I am in need a positive influence.

I have learned that you can’t blame people for everything, maybe it was my fault, maybe it was my father, whoever’s fault it is, well that’s their problem. I believe that as long as I stay true to myself and continue living life the way I do and never put anyone in my situation; then I will be a truly successful individual in this life and the next. As long as I let my true colors shine I can do anything. This I believe.