This was an extremely relaxing yet very pensive weekend for yours truly. I got this from my friend Adrian and couldn’t help but laugh my ass off… 🙂
I guess I am going through one of those phases you go through as you get closer to 30… No I’m not depressed, nor am I upset or frustrated but I’m kind of just taking stock of my life now. As some of you may or may not know, in a few weeks I turn 27 which is no big deal and I am actually really looking forward to it (along with turning 30, 40, etc.). However since this weekend all I really did was spend time with the parents I took a look at my dad and mom and started comparing lives.
You see, back when my dad was 27, he was a respected accountant with the Exxon corporation down in his country, Honduras. He was also then courting my mom who was 17 years old (yeah, my dad was a cradle robber… hehehe) at the time and they had their sights set on the great US of A. They came up here and my dad enrolled in Montclair college to get his accounting certification to practice in the US and make boatloads of mulah. A year later my mom was pregnant with your truly and they of course got married… Unfortunately because of this sudden news, my dad was forced to drop out of the certification courses to save up money and take care of his budding young family. He had some upholstery skills (learned from his dad of course) and it was an easy way to scrape up some green to support us in this new country and that sort of stuck as his life-long career. Two years later my sister Joanna was born and several years after that my little brother Jonathan was brought screaming into this world from his private hideout. 14 Years after that, as I am writing this entry, I see he’s made a decent living for his family. He’s still extremely happily married to mom, they go just about every other weekend away to Atlantic City (yeah, they love them some gamblin’) and his health is great. I’d say he’s also rather proud of his children too. His oldest son (moi) is in the computer field and has his life together, his daughter is on her way to becoming a nurse and the first Torres in America to graduate college and his youngest son is an extremely bright kid with a very promising future ahead of him. All in all, he did his job as a father better than anyone I could think of…
Again, as I am sitting here writing this journal entry, I wonder how similar or dissimilar my life will become compared to his from this point on.
If I had followed directly in his footsteps, I’ll be marrying some hottie high school senior or college freshman by next year and have a child. I just can not see that happening at all… Our family was very close growing up, so I got to see and live through the hardships my parents went through while raising us. I know you can’t go blindly into marriage without making sure you can take care of your wife and family right off the bat. I don’t want my kids or wife to have to go through life on food stamps or worrying about putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads. I’ve lived through that and granted it wasn’t as bad as it really sounds, I saw and felt the pain my dad had to go through with admitting that there was a time when he could not take care of his family and needed some assistance.
We’re both not college graduates and (for our own reasons) had to hold off on getting that college diploma… Granted I’m looking forward to continuing that quest at some point in my future, that is one blaring similarity in our lives. Given the money situation, I make a decent living as compared to my dad and it only looks like it will get much better with experience and time. I’m not worried about losing my job, but if I do, I have enough knowledge and experience to find another one very quickly and perhaps do better money-wise. My salary now is not nearly enough to help support a family in today’s crappy ass economy in New Jersey, but I am not worried about that ever becoming a problem when it comes time for me to settle down.
I don’t have a family to call my own yet, but with regards to that aspect of my life, I hope I am just like my dad. He was a very strict father and there were a lot of times I hated that and wished I had a different father when I was growing up (then again, I tend to believe that’s a common feeling with growing teenagers with strict parents). I wasn’t allowed out and I was forced to concentrate on studies during the school months. Then during the school breaks, I would have to help him out with work, but I now know why he did it. We didn’t grow up in the best of places and I have seen my share of not-so-great things (drugs, guns, people hurt, people dead, etc.) and he was just doing what he thought was right to keep me away from that life. It wasn’t until I went to college and met other people from outside my bubble of the Union City area that I realized how good of a job my dad did in raising us. I’ve met some pretty fucked up kids and all that’s there to blame for it is atrocious parenting. Then going back to my hometown now, I see some of my old friends making careers at fast food places or malls with their own family. While some others have passed away for one reason or another. It’s amazing what my dada taught us while we were growing up…
He taught us the importance of an education and learning as much as you can about what you love.
He taught us the importance of self-respect and repecting everyone else around you.
He taught us the importance of work and being a productive member of society.
He taught us the importance of showing those you love how much you really do love them.
He taught us that life is in no way perfect and you have to do the best with what is given to you…
Those that expect any different are only led to disappointment. I know it’s a pessimistic view on life sorta, but it seems right to me. My parents have definitely succeeded in their job and all I could do is take what they gave to me and do my best with my kids when that time comes. So as I sit here in this dimly lit corner of my parent’s house while everyone else is fast asleep and I’m busy clickety-clacking away on this old black dell keyboard and eating my papaya flavored yogurt, I sit and wonder…
20 Or 30 years from now when my kid(s) are talking or writing about their lives and taking stock on it, will they be holding me in the same praise and respect that I am showing my parents?? Man I sure hope so.