What It Means To Believe In Yourself

My dad, a man who was not easily offended, often asked how I got so smart.

It’s a hard question to answer, but I am now ready to explain. It’s about doing what is right in your eyes, the way you see it, without considering anyone else’s opinions. You are the sole source of judgment in the world. If everyone else has a perspective, you just need to take it on faith. If not, trust your gut, but remember, a lot is unknown, so use your judgment. That is the biggest thing I learned from my own dad. That’s how I know it’s true.

When I left my parents’ home, I was not really prepared for it. I felt the need to be the most grown-up ever. I wanted to be “cool.” 

Even with all of my books, music, clothes, and clothes and shoes and even a motorcycle and my dad’s old car that would fit in my backpack and my mom’s clothes and the clothes of my friends and even my friends’ friends’ friends. I needed this. I wanted a new, cool-looking, hip way of being myself.

I felt like a new, confident, self-assured person, one who was different from everybody. The whole goal of the fashion and fashion trends was to separate me even more from the “good” kids, and to make me look “normal.” I hated it at first, but eventually I accepted my new personality and I was okay with myself. 

However, once I was a teen or kid and tried to use my new “cool”ness to get away from my parents, I learned to be more open to their opinions. Even after all of the pressure became too much, I would still call my dad for advice, not because he was the one who helped me to become who I am, but because I trusted him.

When I got a job I really wanted, I told my bosses I would be working from home and I was working remotely on weekends instead of working a regular 9-5 office job. My managers were confused, and even though I was the only person in the office, many people still considered me a junior. This wasn’t because I was an arrogant person who would brag to everyone, but because my boss was still a bit surprised by the fact that we were both working remotely for the time being, and the only thing I did on the weekends was answer emails and phone calls from my boss. 

He asked me “What’s this about?” I told him about my new “dream job,” and he was really impressed with me. He said some words that I’ll never forget: “You can use the internet, you can use Twitter. You can even put it on social media and that can be a good thing. It can add exposure to you.” He said it with such passion, and it made me realize that my boss didn’t care about my old job, but I was different. I am still different. So he was so interested in me, not because he wanted to save me but because he was worried that if I were in his office, I would just be wasting his time. I was too smart for him. He was impressed with me. 

I had an apartment as well. I had been renting at a lot of places, but my parents made it very clear to me that I needed to give up my old life and get into this new, safe thing they had given me. I learned early on to never get in my parents’ way, even though they were still my parents.  I had been living with my parents for years before my husband proposed.