Parents’ hard work serves as inspiration

This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 6, 2020).

As a kid, you grow up being inspired by many people. Whether they are your parents, older siblings, celebrities or athletes, we all had role models whom we looked up to and tried to emulate. But have you ever stopped for a moment and asked yourself why these people inspire you? What exactly is it about certain people that draws our admiration and respect?

I asked this question to myself and thought, “how did I start getting inspired by others, and who inspires me the most?” There are many, but the two most influential people in my life are my parents. They taught me how to grow and feel, and how to know what is wrong and right. They showed me how to have fun and still become a grownup. I could go on and on with what they taught me. But why do I look up to them?

Both of my parents come from different backgrounds, and difficult lives. They fight everyday to keep our family afloat. There was a time where they both worked two and sometimes three jobs to get money. They moved our family from Staten Island, New York, to Oviedo since they knew we were going to struggle living where we were. Even though I was two at that time, I used to think about what it would have been like living where most of my family does, but this doesn’t change the fact that I love where we live now. My older cousins used to play an important role in my life. Today, as I observe their lives from afar, I realize that I am not a follower to them; I am independent. I am my own person and I shape my own identity and future.

Two of the most important things that my parents have taught me, and what truly inspires me most about them, are how they always tell the truth and say how they feel. They are honest and forthcoming, and don’t let something linger or put it on the back burner. Additionally, they don’t let what has happened to them in the past define their future, and they have grown so much from past struggles. I’ve also learned from my parents that sometimes it’s necessary to move on from certain relationships when they’re having a negative impact on me. All these lessons show me how to be strong and stay true to who I am and not let anyone try and bring me down.