I wasn’t the smartest kid. I didn’t get the best grades. I caused trouble. I disobeyed my parents. I have one sibling. She’s my best friend. She was the smartest kid. She got great grades. She didn’t cause trouble or wasn’t seen as the one causing trouble. She obeyed Mom and Dad even if she didn’t agree with them. This isn’t about my sister. This is about me and my dad.
I saw how proud and happy my dad was when my sister had small and big wins consistently. I know my dad was frustrated with me as kid. I was an unhappy kid. I felt I just needed to work hard and show my dad that I know what I want to do. I wanted to be an architect. I used this to prove to my dad that no matter what grades and trouble I gave my dad that I had a plan and this plan would be successful — proving something to my dad.
Not once did my dad say I was dumb, not as smart as my sister, or that I wasn’t going to be successful. He was frustrated with my anger, how I acted, and how I would get caught up with ideas while not being able to show accomplishments.
I was a hard worker at my first job in high school.
I went outside my comfort zone and the family norm by joining a fraternity at Iowa State University.
I was elected Vice President of this fraternity two years in a row.
I applied at Apple and soon received a call asking if I’d join the team. This day changed my life. I was able to get into arguably one of the best companies of our time.
My dad was proud of me.
Four-ish years would go by and I would start to feel the feeling of not making my dad proud more and more.
I felt… I went to college. Spent a lot of money. Left college with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advertising. But, I was working in retail. Something just didn’t seem right. I kept reminding myself how many lives I positively impact through the experiences I create for my customers. And I do this for a very admired company. But, I was comfortable and I felt like I still needed to prove something to my dad.
And I started to compare myself to my sister.
She went to college. She studied interior design. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. She works full-time as an interior designer. It felt like I still had something to prove to my dad, even though he’d disagree with me.
You see, I always had ideas to solve problems in the world that I would see. I liked to design at such a young age where I didn’t know what the word design meant or what being designer entailed.
It felt like once a month I would call my dad with a new idea I had.
Over 50 ideas later, not one would take off because I would continue having another idea that I felt would be better.
You see I just wanted to have an idea or do something that would just take off and surprise my dad. That would then make my dad proud. Right?
I know my dad is proud of me, no matter what.
But, that won’t stop me from the chase of making my dad proud.