I have to write a speech for my work’s unofficial Toastmaster’s club on a person who influenced me. After going through a list of people, I decided on the person I knew I was going to write about all along, my dad.
My dad has been going through some tough times lately. He retired and closed his psychology practice late last year and has been working to sell his house. It was a pretty difficult thing for him to do. He’s working to move to Thailand, where I believe he thinks his best years of his youth were spent. I’m happy for him but it’s hard to wrap my mind around whether or not it’ll actually all happen and for a while I was very against it. I thought he was taking the easy way out but I hope that he’s just trying to get back to his true self, as corny as that sounds.
I’m definitely a daddy’s girl. I don’t think he realizes that anymore because over the years, I’ve become best friends with my mother. That’s difficult for him but I know that it’s his choices and presence in my life that has influenced so much of my path. His amazing ability to invent funny, fantastical stories mesmerized my sister and I as kids and I think this, in combination with his own need for stories, has lead me to my absolute obsession with books.
The stories of his travels certainly did nothing but drive my need to see the world. I grew up hearing about Eastern Asia, singing Thai songs, pretending I was a Thai dancer with the long gold fingers, and eating Thai food. And while I do want to go to Thailand someday (hopefully to visit my dad), all this didn’t give me a strong desire to visit. What it really did, was give me the notion that I could go anywhere, without anyone else. It also made me realize that I needed to be a part of something more than my town. I wanted to be a part of the whole world.
So, Daddy, I’m sorry I haven’t always supported you in your decisions. I’m sorry this has been such a struggle for you, but I hope you know that I love you no matter what country you live in. I owe you so much. You opened my eyes to the world.