“From the time I could speak, my dad taught me education equated to opportunity. He pushed me to be the best I could be and get good grades. Most of all, he told me to never believe in limitations others would put on me.
When the school told me taking all honors classes wasn’t wise, he encouraged me to rise to the challenge. When I was the only female trumpet player and the only student not taking private lessons, my dad encouraged me to practice on my own until I got to first chair. When math class got hard and I thought I couldn’t do it, he pushed me to keep working.
He taught me that, in many ways, failure was a mindset. I came to learn that no matter the obstacle or the critics in my way, If I set my mind to it, I could do it. Being a woman or being of a certain social class or being any classification at all was never deemed as a valid reason to back down from my goals. My dad taught me to ignore ceilings and strive for my personal version of accomplishment.
I am thankful my dad is the dad he is. We need fathers who are willing to teach their girls to ignore the limitations society tries to attach to genders. We need fathers willing to teach their girls to be tenacious and fearless in the pursuit of their dreams. We need fathers who teach girls that they can do anything and everything boys can do.
I am thankful that my dad taught me to achieve my dreams, not in spite of being a woman, and not even because I’m a woman.
He taught me to achieve my dreams simply because. Period.
Through that simple difference, I learned the strength of a woman.”
– Lindsay, Author
This featured story was adapted from Lindsay Detwiler’s article, My Dad Made Me A Strong Woman on Huffington Post.