My dad is the most magnificent and magical man in my life.
He is, and always has been, my biggest supporter and most incredible source of inspiration. My younger sister feels the same, but this is less about her (sorry, not sorry), and more about me and the admiration I have for a man who taught me how to live and love.
For the record, my mom’s pretty damn magical, too ― but since Father’s Day is Sunday, I want to pay tribute to my dad and all the important life lessons he has taught me, and my sister, over the years. Hopefully, some of these lessons will come in handy for you, too:
1. He taught me that education is everything, and that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I could.
2. He taught me that life is about learning, and that seeking the truth would teach me more about myself, and the world, than anything else I could imagine.
3. He taught me that independence comes with responsibility, and he allowed me to learn that the hard way.
4. He taught me I can do anything I put my mind to ― if I can manage to put my smartphone down for long enough.
5. He taught me that a good book is the best vacation, and that play is just as important as work.
6. He taught me that corny is cool (enough), and that laughing at your own jokes is, too... even when no one else laughs with you, dammit.
7. He taught me that procrastination isn’t cool, and that’s a lesson I’m still learning.
8. He taught me that my words matter, and that I should always write and say what I mean.
9. He taught us that grammar and spelling are important ― and that editing is, too.
10. He taught me, during every summer break, that "we're all perpetually learning. School never ends, because life schools us every day."
11. He taught me that time is life's most valuable resource, and what I do with it is a reflection of who I am.
12. He taught me how to give back to my people and community.
13. He taught me that family is fundamental, and love is our foundation.
14. He taught me that our family's black history is revolutionary, and I should carry on that spirit in everything I do.
15. He taught me that being Ethiopian is a beautiful thing, and I have always expressed that proudly.
16. He taught me that kindness is key, and that while "it's nice to be important, it's more important to be nice."
17. He taught me how to handle my money, and that if I "look[ed] after the pennies, the dollars would look after themselves."
18. He taught me no one is ever too old to learn, and that we should always be willing to try anything (within reason).
19. He taught me that "I love you" means more when you show it than when you say it -- that love needs to be felt, not just said.
20. He taught me to be grateful for my blessings, and how to find faith freely.
21. He taught me that simplicity is the goal, and clutter is the devil.
22. He taught me how to balance humility with confidence, and that those two traits would get me far in life.
23. He taught me that no matter how badly or how often I fumble, he always has my back.
24. He taught me that people constantly evolve, and that the woman I want to be tomorrow can always be a better version of the woman I am today.
25. He taught me that no matter how far apart we are, laughter will always bring us closer.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I love you forever and always, "so much, so much."