Recently in a class we read a story about a son whose father was a bricklayer while he was more of the office type, suit wearing. As I recall, the father built with his hands the buildings he could not get into but he worked so that his son could get into them. And although they were separated by this class structure, there was still that mutual respect, the father toward his son for doing what he loved and the son toward his father in admiration for his hard work.
During the class discussion, it got me thinking about my own life and how similar it is for myself and other young Bahamians whose parents may or may not have finished all of high school much less college, but we as offspring are college bound and aren’t taking up the traditional jobs.
Historically, Abaco is known for boat building and many of the men were and still are fisherman. My dad has been a self-employed fisherman for 20+ years and I remember him telling me stories of going out on his little dinghy boat going sculling and making his few dollars as kid and even just enjoying the ocean. I suppose that’s where I get my love of the sea from. Sadly, I can barely swim). Every morning at the crack of dawn my dad is usually up standing on the car porch in the yard looking out towards the sea checking the day’s weather. I would sometimes get up and stand next to him and pretend I was checking too, but I couldn’t tell you nothing beyond it was cold. He would be out for most of the day and would walk home a few blocks from the beach he “parked his boat” at. This was most of his days. Nowadays, he sometimes has marine biology groups and other tourist types come and take them out to do deep-sea dives and coral studies, although it isn’t a major part of his work routine.
I sometimes wondered if he used to wish I was a boy so that I could follow in his line of work and become a fisherman too. I spend my days writing articles, blogs and giving interviews for more stories as I try to build my journalism writing experience and gain experience as public relations major. It’s a far cry from learning how to plot ocean maps and plot GPS points for crawfish traps during crawfish season.
Although these seem like two different worlds, we do share one thing in common: we’re doing what we enjoy. That is something I hope to continue to do, being as I’m still just a college student there’ll probably be times where I have to decide whether it’s more important to do what I love or make money and pay the bills.
I can’t take a conch out of the shell and my dad probably knows little about writing a press release. But when I go home for holidays and breaks I can still share some of my articles and stories and I know he supports whatever it is I want to do.
I think my dad, like other parents, work hard to give their kids the opportunities they didn’t have to make their lives easier. Whether it be behind an office desk or on the open seas, what’s most important to remember is that hard work pays off and doing what you love makes the work worthwhile.