The Best Advice From My Dad
“Don’t be like everyone else.” Dad
This from a man during the 60’s who didn’t approve of the ‘youth movement’. Individuality. Rebellion. Longhair. And independence.
But, I wanted long hair, I wanted to be part of ‘the movement’, I wanted to be a rock star, I wanted my independence and I ‘was’ rebellious.
We fought. Words were said. Punches were punched. Growing up in the 60’s.
FRANKLY!!!! Everyone INHALED!!!
I just had to say that!
Unwittingly he gave me permission to pursue my individuality. And while it wasn’t immediately a thoughtful endeavor, it lied beneath. There was a freedom that was met with strong opposition. Neither of us realized at the time. I was too caught up in ‘finding’ myself, he was too caught up in earning a living……he still tasted the depression era. When you’re a teenager, everyone has advice.
So, actually there was 2 issues with my dad that shaped my life as I know it today. One, ‘don’t be like everyone else’ and the other was his dislike for a second cousin on my mom’s side of the family. Okay, I’ll fill in the blank there. This was an adult cousin that enjoyed the life he chose……he did seem to have a life long allergy to work. Which is why my dad relished the contempt he had for his cousin-in-law. This cousin did work that wasn’t steady, a union man(something else my dad disliked), and was a bit entrepreneurial. He did seasonal fishing, commercial fishing. Lots of money back then, and tax free!
My dad had this out of the world ‘work ethic’…..he grew up in ‘The Great Depression’. Familiar with going without and was striving to make life better for all. So, having a relative with a rather different view didn’t set well with my dad. He was always polite and sociable with this ‘derelict’ but always embraced his contempt for him.
So here I was; ‘don’t be like everyone else’ and the free lifestyle of a entrepreneurial distant cousin. From there I forged a life of independence and entrepreneurship. Lots of ups and downs thru the years, but always interesting…..always evolving and learning. Advice from dad.
Now, on the next phase of life here……retirement? I’d rather think of myself as a professional traveler. And the sale of my house is the tripwire for that great adventure.
Amazing what those 5 words and a derelict cousin can do for one’s life.
Peace, Love, and Beaches,