I want to take this time to give you guys a quick tour through the journey of my life. My beautiful mother had me when she was 15 years old. She was my mother and my father. I knew my dad, but he was 16 when he had me, and I realized not too long ago that he never quite grew up after having me. I took lessons from family, friends, athletes, teachers, coaches, and even strangers who all gave me advice on this thing called life. Not having a dad to go to and talk about life with only made me have stronger relationships with people who I looked to as father figures. I developed this kind of personality that allowed me to inherit different traits from people who weren't my dad, and as I've gotten older I've found a way to weed out the bad habits (and people) that have slowed me down in life.
I wanted to share a specific moment in my life that changed me, and something that has stuck with me since it happened. I remember telling my dad that I wanted to go to college and graduate so that I can have a career in sports media. I can always remember it so vividly. My dad turned to me and said "That's stupid. You should become a teacher or something better than that." My dream as a kid was always to become a professional athlete, but I'm 5'6" 120 pounds, I'd be lucky to be a professional Ping Pong player. But my passion for sports ran deep, so I always knew what I wanted to be in life. Mind you, my dad never graduated college and never really accomplished anything in life besides having me, and yet he still could never accept me for who I was. I remember thinking to myself like How can I get my dad to approve of me? How can I show him that I will be successful? How can I make him accept me for who I am? But recently I realized that He was the one losing out on our relationship, not me. My father not believing in me only made me stronger, made me hungrier to achieve my dreams even faster.
I had a lot of obstacles in life that I could have easily used as excuses as to why I wouldn't be successful. I was the child of a single teenage parent. I didn't have the father that I always wanted. My family wasn't always financially or emotionally stable. I once drove a Geo Metro for a solid year or two. But everyone goes through some type of adversity in life, and that can't be what you let define you. You create your own story. You knock down those obstacles and you create your own future. People always ask me how I have become such a positive person. I know that life isn't always going to be cotton candy and rainbows, but to strive for a life that great is something that has driven me throughout these last few years. I look back on everything I've been through and I realize that it's not that bad at all. Don't let anybody let you think you aren't good enough, or that you are incapable of making a difference in this world. My own father didn't believe in my dream, and in the end it was a blessing in disguise.
I'm usually not the one to spill my feelings out to the world, but I realize that my story can make a difference. If I can just make an impact on one person's life while I'm here on this earth, I'd feel like I made a difference. Everybody has a story, and some have similar stories or at least understand what adversity feels like. So to everyone out there who has been through some tough shit, keep your head up. They want you to give up, don't let them win.
Check out this video of my friends, family, and me on our road trip to Arizona for my graduation.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.