Years ago when I was a teenager, my father and I had a conversation. It didn’t happen too often because on the whole my Dad was a quiet man. But, that one conversation stuck in my mind all these years, because of that one statement. Nine short words that would resonate throughout the rest of my life.
“You’re just average and that’s all you’ll ever be.” my Dad stated to me.
Now, he wasn’t trying to be mean. He wasn’t using it in a derogatory sense. For him it was a simple statement of his belief. My father always stated he was an atheist. He grew up in a strict Protestant household. My grandfather was one that he was not going to spare the rod or spoil the child. From what I can gather my grandfather used his religion as a reason for corporal punishment. It left a mark on my father, and so when asked, he said he was an Atheist. Whether that was strictly true, I don’t know. But, my father did have his own beliefs.
I don’t really remember how the conversation got started. My father and I had deep talks once in while. No subject was off-limits. I know we talked about people and what made some so much more talented, smart, ambitious, etc. My dad believed it was “predestined” on how or what we became in life.
He told me that he was just average, as was my mother, and my grandparents. That I came from a family of “average” people. So there fore I was just average and that’s all I’ll ever be. I would never become famous, I had no outstanding talents and neither did my siblings. But according to him that was not necessarily a bad thing. It was what it was.
Now I disagreed with him. Still do in fact! And I hope I proved him wrong. That conversation always played a major factor in my life and what I did. I set out to prove to my father that I was not average! That just because one came from a family that had no rich, famous, highly ambitious people in it did not make me average!
I always read a lot. Inherited that from my dad. I will read anything and everything. If it has words on it, I will read it. I’ve always loved to write. I used to keep a journal during my school years and beyond. I wrote in it every single day. Now I have my blogs. And, I’m working on a novel.
I have always admired people who could draw or paint. What a great way to express yourself! So one day I set out to teach myself to paint. I started with oils and then moved to acrylics and have been painting for 20 years. I like to think I’m pretty good at it! I do lots of crafts, crocheting, knitting, and sewing. I have to find a way to be creative!
Looking back, I taught myself all these things because deep down I wanted to show my dad I was not “average”! I needed to show myself this also. I believe I succeeded. Am I rich? No. Am I famous? No. Am I talented? Your damn straight I am! And there is still time to become the other two. I have my Dad to thank for that, and I do.
My father died about 8 years ago of cancer. A few years ago I went to visit my mom and siblings and found out that my Dad WAS very proud of me. I learned that he used to brag about his talented daughter to his friends. My brothers and sister even said I was his favorite, shocked the hell out of me I can tell you!
But, after I learned all this, I had a little conversation with my deceased dad. I thanked him for that long ago conversation. I said, “Daddy, I love you. And thank you for showing me how NOT be just average”.