As a kid you are constantly asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And you have your rehearsed answer: “Astronaut, fireman, teacher, etc.”
For me though I only knew one thing for sure, I didn’t want to do what my parents did. Don’t get me wrong they had and have respectable careers, but I had no interest in becoming a social worker or a lawyer.
My dad ran his own law practice writing wills and estates and while you might associate this with rolling in the money, this was not the case. We were a solidly middle class family. Growing up I learned that running your own small practice is expensive and time consuming. My dad worked long hours and most weekends. He intensely cared about the people he served, almost to a fault. He didn’t raise prices when he probably should have. He over committed himself to obligations eating up more of his already so precious personal time.
When I was really young he would be home to read with me every night. However, he started missing these nightly get-togethers more and more often. Impatient to get on with the story, this sparked me to start reading these big chapter books on my own. This had the side effects of making me an avid reader and teaching me to be comfortable by myself, something many only children learn early on.
As I’ve grown older, although I still don’t want to become a lawyer, I’ve realized I am moving towards the work life my dad has always had and becoming more like him than I ever thought I would.
Last October I started my own company, Sci Chic. I have found myself happily working long hours and weekends and fixating on numerous ideas and commitments at once. I am adopting the intense work style that goes along with running your own business that I witnessed growing up.
In realizing this, I have been able to reflect on my dad’s experiences and apply these lessons to my own life now.
I have never understood my father more than I do now that I understand the long nights and weekends he spent away from home making his business and life work. I have never been more proud to carry some part of him as I move forward into tomorrow.
Happy Father’s Day.
On a mission to show the art and creativity in science, technology and engineering.