Every family has traits that are passed from one generation to the next. For good or bad, they define you as you either accept them and perpetuate them or reject them and choose a different path.
For me, one of the most defining traits was something both my parents have always said: “You can do anything you want to do.” My brother decided he wanted to be a musician, and he is. I want to be a writer, and I’m working in that direction. No matter how ridiculous or difficult to attain our dreams seem, as long as we had goals and truly wanted to pursue them, my parents supported us wholeheartedly.
Little did I know the origins of this trait. Two weeks ago was my Granddad’s funeral. As my dad shared the fond memories of his dad, he said Granddad always told him two things: “I love you” (Granddad’s most famous words while engulfing us in his warm, freckled arms) and “You can do anything you want to do.”
I couldn’t help but smile. Granddad was an incredible man and passed many things on to us–love of the simple pleasures of life, love for family, love of good food and laughter, love of God–but what inspired me to choose clinging to dreams instead of abandoning them for the easy, sure thing ultimately came from him.
I always knew his legacy formed much of the foundation I’ve built my life on. But little did I know that the importance of dreams–regardless of what they are–came from him too.