It was an odd thing to say to someone in my position, I thought. What comfort does being reminded of my youth and inexperience bring to the fact that I’m minutes away from my very first job interview?
I didn’t get it. But I was at the mercy of time ticking closer and closer to the agreed schedule that I paid it no mind and just walked to the elevator. Out of sight, out of mind. A classic excuse.
It wasn’t until the interviewer asked where I saw myself in 5 years that I stopped and let my dad’s words sink in.
Because in 5 years, I didn’t see myself still being in this job — if at all —
In 5 years I see myself making the stories in my head a reality, from daydreams to film reels, constructed sentences to written script dialogues, imagined places to sets and a rolling camera — it’s where I see myself in 5 years.
It’s where I WANT to see myself in 5 years. Not in a job I force myself to go to every day just to be able to count money off a thick wallet filled all the hours I wasted away.
But even I knew that chasing your dreams and facing reality are two very separate things.
And I knew that as much as I want to drop everything and pursue the one thing I’m passionate about, the need to give back to the people who have given me so much is a pull I can’t quite push away yet.
So when I got back out the building and saw my dad waiting for me outside, I walked up to him and asked, “Dad, why did you tell me to remember I’m still a kid?”
And he told me, “Because I want you to know that I’m still here. I want you to know that you don’t have anything to sacrifice yet, you SHOULDN’T have anything to sacrifice yet.
I want you to remember to let yourself be a dreamer. Let yourself be young.
I’m here. Let go of the world you keep carrying on your shoulders and allow yourself to stand tall and proud of the person that you know you are — that you know you COULD and WILL be.
Let me carry the world for you.”
I never forgot that. It’s a moment that’s become forever etched in my mind, presenting itself during moments when I feel like everything is too much.
And dad, I hope someday I’ll be able to help you as much as you’ve helped me.
And I hope that someday, I’ll be able to lift the world off your shoulders, too.