10 Men Who Changed My Life
In July 2015, I wrote a blog piece about this, but I'm no longer proud of it. Growing up changes your perspectives end up changing a lot. This was originally inspired by a featured article in every issue of print copies of the magazine, Glamour. I don't know if that article is still a monthly thing now that the magazine is digital-only, but I do believe they lost that article long before they went digital-only. I always feel if I'm doing a challenge on gender I want to attempt to do it on the other as well if it's applicable.
1. Dad (biological): I am and will always be a daddy's girl. Apparently, if you ask my family they might say I've been one since birth or at least a baby. My dad stated in my baby book he always wanted me to be happy and be whoever I wanted to be, and as I was growing up he stuck by that. It was never a secret to my family I wanted to be a writer, so Dad gave me advice, read and gave feedback on only what I allowed him to, told me about careers in the field, and he even introduced me to people in the field. But that's not only what my dad did. He also helped me with my exercises as well as gave me advice with his own life experience. That helped so much. When I was scared of the only surgery I needed to better my life with Cerebral Palsy I called him, and from the way the story was told he got a plane ticket to come be with me during the surgery and some of the recovery time as soon as we got off the phone. He never spoke bad about my mom after they divorced, and he refused to let me speak bad about her when I was simply annoyed with her. And after I moved in with him he protected me from all the abuse he possibly could protect me from.
2. Tim: Tim is my younger brother's dad, and he's always been like a father figure to me since I've known him. He's always helped me with my school work. He's also helped me with my writing, and he, like my dad, respected me privacy so if I only showed him a set amount of pages that's what he would read. He'd give me feedback that most people wouldn't give me, and that continued into my adulthood. He also gives me job and life advice when we connect to this day. Tim was the first person to give me a paying job at the age of fifteen. It was a babysitting job during the summer. Yeah, it was for my brother, but I felt incredibly respected that he was willing to pay me for it.
3. Richard: Ever since I met Richard, he's been the most amazing person to me. He's been so understanding and patient. Richard and I met when I was at my absolute lowest point. I spilled my verbal guts all over him in our first conversation, realized what I did, gave him, an out, and he didn't take it. Over the years as we went from strangers to spouses, he helped pull me out of my shell and helped me realize who I wanted to become. We support each other and are there for each other. We can literally talk about anything and be happy. We help each other with storytelling and understanding plot holes in the entertainment industry. It's amazing.
4. Dad (Papa Chico, my dad-in-law): Dad is so amazingly generous like his wife I mentioned in the last blog post. (I'll post the link to the previous post down below.) When he knew I was moving in he told me how much rent would be a week, and I spoke to him immediately about how I preferred to pay rent. I also asked him what would happen if I could pay rent one month, and he was very kind and understanding about it. In fact, he waved my first month's rent because the whole family knew I wanted the first month to be a vacation originally. That was when I was planning on going back to California at the end of that July. When I had a small financial issue within my first few months he loaned me the money I needed since it was for medical reasons. I was in a position to pay him back so quickly that he didn't add interest. Dad also got me interested in sports again, something I didn't think I'd be interested in after my dad passed. We've talked about baseball, hockey, and football. Dad even gave Richard and me tickets to Yankees games, and Dad and I plan on going to a Rangers game some time. ^-^ I've always wanted to go to a hockey game.
5. Adam: I met Adam months after my dad passed, and we started getting along rather quickly. He quickly became my older brother by bond at a time where my older brothers had totally bailed on me which I guess was easy since they weren't there for me to begin with. He was there when I just needed a friend to talk to, but he was also there when I was barely holding it together. He was also completely okay listening to me talk about my dad without issue. That was really big at that time because most everyone didn't want to hear it back then. Adam's also been really good at always telling you the truth but with couth. He's always been there with love, good advice, and a shoulder to cry on. Though he never met my father when I'm feeling down he was the first person to tell me that he felt he was getting to know my dad through me and that I was making my dad proud.
6. E: Ethan is my younger brother (biologically). I have always loved that kid since he was born. Something about having a little brother changes you, especially when they are as bright, smilely, and look up to you like he did to me. Like when we lived in our first house together if he was scared or just wanted to hang I'd see him poking his head around the corner. It got to the point where I'd wait for him to join me for Saturday morning cartoons. He often gave me courage I never knew I had. I just wanted to be someone he could be proud of. He ended up saving my life a few times, but he didn't know it at the time.
7. Mike: Mike and I met in high school and became friends over energy drinks. He's one of the only people I know who was really creative in high school and is still really actively creative. I remember he was a really good editor back then, and he's helped me at work with editing as well. He's helped me with my writing a lot. After my dad passed he gave me advice on how to deal my grief from his personal experience. He's one of the few people I still talk to from high school, and he's just a really great friend.
8. Matt: Matt's another one of my friends from high school. He was one of the first people who was able to call me on my shit when I started avoiding people or stopped talking during my sophomore year. When I was ditched by other "friends" he'd be there to make sure I got home alright. He was one of the first people who got it through my thick skull that I never really asked for help. Maybe we even talked about why... He always knew how to make me laugh or knew to defuse a situation when I was getting too upset. He was able to get me to slow down when I'd push myself too hard.
9. Kyler: The thing about Kyler is he's always been my favorite cousin even though there's a decent chunk of our lives our families didn't really keep in touch. Before we lost touch I just always looked up to him and always wanted to hang out with him. Once we were adults despite the fact he was going through his own personal issues he reached out me to help me make sense of mine. He said that at that point in my life I was living in "survival mode", something he was familiar with. The best thing to do at that point was move to another environment and not let anyone know until you moved. Based on what he was telling me I knew he was right, so after thinking about what he said I realized I needed a big life change and and took the next opportunity when it presented itself. I only told people I could trust about the move like advised.
10. Tony Black: Tony Black is CEO of Stridestar Studios and my boss. Not only does he run the company but he's also the lead of the writing team. When I was first hired on I was mostly an editor on the first script, but when we moved onto the next script Tony assigned all of us to create a boss character, a level, and to collect concept art for both. He gave us full creative freedom which did not only stump me. If we needed a little help he gave us a little direction, but he definitely wants to see what we come up with. I once told my mom he ruined me for future employers because there's always room for growth at the company, he genuinely cares about his employee's well-being including mental health. In fact, when the Covid crisis started he made sure that the team started having a group mental health day about once a week, and he reached out to check on certain employees like me who had to take time off work for my mental health. He offered help to us in ways that he could. As long as you don't bullshit him or make him do "mental gymnastics" if you have a problem, you should have no problem with him.
10 Women Who Changed My Life