When I got home from night class last Tuesday, my mom told me this quote: “No man has faced hardship without tears”. I laughed. Out of all the people with hardships in my family, I think my dad has faced the hardest of hardest hardships. And I never saw him shed a tear.Except when his dad passed away a few years ago. I asked my mom why my dad hasn’t cried in any hardships. “Oh well you know your father. He doesn’t have the capability to produce tears”. I hear him laugh in the background and she hand the phone to him.
“How do you do it dad? How do you not cry even in the biggest of biggest hardships?” I ask.
“Practice” he says nonchalantly.
Then he waits.
“You just gotta remember something about hardships. Everything always gets better. Think about something that happened to you three or five years ago. Is that still a harship for you?”
I think to myself. I had literally just seen something in one of my notebooks as I was cleaning my room.Three or so years ago, I was about to teach my first college level course and my family was in the process of moving to Colorado. In that class I was teaching, the Professor asked asked us to answer this question: “What is life draining to you at this moment?” I had scribbled: “Finding out about you-know-who, and you-know who”. I laughed to myself when I saw it. Player and our friend. I still remember crying on the bathroom floor the night before. I laughed because, little did I know- I would meet the guy that would forever change my life only a month after that. Without that little incident, I don’t think I would have ever been with “Heart”, the best thing that ever happened to me.
But still, after mine and “Prince Player’s” last interaction and all our talks during our Summer and Winter breaks- I’m not so sure I’m over it.
So I think about different hardship. 5 years ago. 5 years ago, my mother just had surgery, I got rejected to a college, and I bumped into “C” on Valentine’s Day. Where he was buying a Valentine for his new girlfriend, something he never did for me. Because he wanted to be “just friends” with me. Even though we were more. When he behaved liked a douche-bag and a player, he made up fake dramatic stories to explain his behavior. Me being me, I believed his fake stories and gave him all the love I could. Until I cried so much, I had to tell my mother about it. She believed his stories too and was sweet enough to say “we’ll pray for him”. When in reality, he didn’t need our prayers.
Today, I’m so so so happy he was the person he was. Because I’ve met people way better than him. And I accomplished a lot more than him. People always said it’s “his loss” and “he has no clue what he is missing out on”. I just kept crying to myself. But, when I came to college a year after that (which I was so happy to attend, I didn’t even care about being rejected to other schools because I love mine so much 🙂 ), he did indeed realize all of that and started liking me. But he was too late. I liked him for years, and he didn’t like me back. Then he started liking me when I started liking other people? Not. my. fault. He would blow up my phone as I was trying to see other people. And then one day, I just told him upfront he needs to stop talking to me. His chance came, and it went.
As I quickly ponder my hardships. My dad answers his own question. “Probably not. Everything in life is changeable. Except death. Now that, is just something that is hard to get over. But every other hardship, you can change.”
I smile to myself. I guess I know who I get my positive mentality from. I go back to packing. My Thursday class got cancelled, and I didn’t have any classes Friday, and my parents have been begging me to come home so I booked tickets to fly home after my Wednesday class. It would also give me a chance to talk to my dad about my plans after college.
“Ask your father” my mom says when we’re all sitting together.
Lately, my choices revolving what I’m going to do after college have been shifted by the new offer the teaching organization gave me. And the fact that I can’t pursue an MPH at the same time if I choose to accept. My brother tells me I’m settling. He says I’m solely going to take the teaching organization’s offer simply because I think my only skill is teaching. Which is true. He tells me that I can do so much with my Health Sciences degree and eventually an MPH. “How do you know you won’t be good at a healthcare job as you are with teaching? Have you tried it?” he asked me when we last talked. No, he had good point. I ask him how I can possibly get a job in that as I have no experience it except my classes.
“Daddy” he said with a smile.
My dad is the global head director of one of the largest insurance companies in America. Every month, he delivers a speech to 700 people- 1/7 of them are in healthcare.
But still. I never like asking him for help. I’m very stubborn.
“I’m with your brother on this. Teaching is your talent, but you may have other talents too. My suggestion would be for you to get another internship first. Something non-education related. See what else you’re good at. Then I could possibly help you find a job. Even with the internship, I could help you…but you have this big pride Shahz. You won’t ever ask anybody for help” my dad says pinching my cheek.
I smile. “But it’s okay. I never asked my father for anything either” he says winking.
I kiss him on the cheek. My dad. My dad came to the U.S as an international student years and years ago after everyone in our family told him not to. Especially his own dad. But he did. He also got a job as an engineer, something else that his dad didn’t approve of. He came to the U.S with just the clothes he was wearing, and a suitcase with $200 and a laptop. And he turned it into so much more.
My weekend home has made my choice pool grow.
1.) I could accept the teaching organization’s offer. Teach for a few years, and get my MPH later.
2.) I could retake the GRE. Do better on it and go for my MPH directly after school, and ask my dad to help me find a job afterwords.
3.) I could get a Public Health related internship over the summer. Retake the GRE, and go to grad school. And get a nice job (by myself) afterwords.
Oh lord. How did the hardships of “Why won’t Prince Player/Heart like me?” turn into “What the hell do I want to do after I graduate?”
And I haven’t even passed Microbio yet 😦
(more Hardships coming up soon)