“Passion is our Fuel”
Great day everyone and thank you for reading another weekly message from me I am very grateful! Today is actually my youngest daughter Gabriella’s 19th birthday, and when I realized It was also time to write about passion, I knew for sure that I would be writing about her. Before I start I want to say happy birthday Gabriella, I love you very much and I’m proud of you.
Today’s message it’s not just about my daughter or even about passion but rather the dangers of not speaking up and letting the people around you know what your passions are. In order for me to explain I need to go back about 5 or 6 years. I believe if you are a parent or a child you will find value in this story and the lesson within it.
Right around the time when Gabriella was 13, it became a little harder to be her parents. Of course, she was a girl, and she was 13, so we didn’t think much of it at first. It seemed like many of our friends who had teenage girls were experiencing some of the same things with their kids. A change in attitude, lack of ambition, talking back very aggressively, and bad grades in school. Of course, those are just a few of the things that were going on, but I’m sure you can imagine emotions were high on an almost daily basis.
I would often think about the abrupt change in her attitude and her demeanor and it didn’t make sense to me. Some of the other parents I talked to told me it was hormones and it was normal but I just didn’t buy it. It would be a couple years later when I realized what it was that was causing this behavior and attitude. Passion was at fault here. No I’m not saying she was passionate about being difficult but rather she was convinced that she couldn’t follow her passions.
Here’s where the three-year mystery was finally revealed to me and what made everything change so quickly. One day at 16 years old my baby girl asked to speak with me. So we sat down and talked and she told me that she didn’t wanna go to college but instead wanted to go to cosmetology school and she didn’t know what to do.
I asked the standard question that any parent would ask like “why do you wanna do that?”. She went on to explain that she loved hair, make-up and anything else that made people feel beautiful and she enjoyed doing it and it made her happy. I didn’t think what she said was a bad thing and I instinctively answered, “well if that’s what you want to do that’s fine”.
Even at that moment I didn’t think this discussion was a big deal but I later found out that it was bigger than I could ever imagine. After I told her that if she wanted to do that it was fine she was shocked. She looked at me and said are you sure it’s fine? Once again I answered yes if that’s what you want to do and you’re passionate about it then you should do it.
She was very surprised by my answer and my support of it as if she didn’t expect it. She kept mentioning that she thought people would be mad if she didn’t go to college. I asked her why she thought that and why she felt that way. She mentioned that most of the people in our family had chosen a higher education path and had gone to college. They always told her that she should go and she had operated under the assumption for the last several years that she had to go and could not choose a different path.
When my wife and I explained to her pretty clearly that it was okay for her to go to cosmetology school and we would support her everything seemed to change in an instant. Over the course of the next week or two a different person emerged. A person who smiled more and who seemed more enthusiastic about life in general. Our relationship became so much closer and our discussions became so much more pleasant.
It was a beautiful thing and as I look back it scares me that this conversation almost never happened. It also scares me that she almost didn’t go to cosmetology school because of it. Gabriella was under the assumption that if she didn’t go to college nobody would support her dreams. That assumption led to years of stress and anxiety and a strained relationship with us. As I look back I wish we would’ve had the conversation sooner but I guess I assumed that she knew we would always support her.
These assumptions almost lead my daughter to not follow her passion and the lesson here is that if you are a parent please make sure you dont just assume that your kids are aware that you love and support them you also got to tell them clearly. It’s also a lesson to kids that parents want what’s best for you in all aspects of life and if you can be courageous enough to let them know how you are feeling and what your passions are you will find support beyond your wildest dreams from them.
I worry that some kids might feel they are rebelling by not going the standard route in life and some parents might feel the same.
I am here to remind everyone that we are all different and we have all been blessed with different gifts from God and our journey in life should be based on that, not based on society’s standards.
Gabriella graduated a couple of weeks ago and is officially starting her career and passion for all things cosmetology next month and the smile is still there. She is very talented and I know she’s gonna do great and I also know that her passion will fuel her to keep going every day. Its a great feeling to know that I am part of helping someone follow their passion and work towards their dream, you should try it too!
Thank you for reading this week and thank you for following your passions in life!