As you already know, my dad completed college and law school after I was born. Once he started practicing law, I observed what he did and decided (at age 7) that being a lawyer was for me.
When I informed my dad of my decision, he said:
Girls don’t go to law school. It’s just for boys.
I immediately went to his law school yearbook and pointed to the two young women who had graduated in his class. My dad said:
Oh. Those are the girls who weren’t pretty enough to get a husband in college.
Needless to say, since I didn’t want to be lumped into the Ugly Duckling group, I started re-thinking my options. In all honesty, I continued to think about law school and did so right up until my first day of teaching, which is when I realized that teaching was also something I was good at and could make a living at.
My dad and I talked about the way he had discouraged me from my law school dream and he explained that he had raised me for a completely different world from the one I actually lived in. He thought I would get married and have a family and forget about working. Instead I have worked continuously (either part-time or full-time) for the last 45 years. My marriage did not work out, and at many times in my life, I have been my sole support. My dad said
I didn’t know who you would marry if you were an attorney.
And maybe he was right. Maybe I wouldn’t have had a long-time marriage. Oh wait, that already happened.
Dad apologized for not letting me follow my dream, and I’m sure he wished I had been an attorney when he became ill and had no one to take over his practice. However, I have had so many interesting jobs and have met so many wonderful people in the course of my professional life that I would not want to change one thing.
Okay, I would change one thing: I would never have been director of a modeling school.
Here are some of the jobs I have held in my life. I was a school teacher. (That happened three different times.) I worked as a sales representative at an employment agency, an insurance company, and a copier company. I worked in admissions at an allied health school, a business school, a modeling school, and an automotive school. I took a night job at a prison teaching GED classes. I currently train teachers on computer programs, and I volunteer with my local Diversity Council and the local library. Along the way, I have met some of the most wonderful friends you could ever imagine, and I have learned some of the greatest life lessons from them.
Yes, my dad stepped on my first dream, but he helped me to achieve so many more. Thank you Dad for helping me to be who I am today.