I’m a helper. I do what I can to help as many people as I possibly can, as much as a possibly can within reason. If someone needs a contact I’ll see if I have one. If someone needs that perfect word it will torment me until I find it. It is in my nature to be helpful, it only makes sense to me because when I’m in a place that requires the help of others I am appreciative. This is why it is maddening for me to feel like I’ve failed someone when they needed help the most.
Ask most students if I was helpful in college and they’ll probably reply that I was as helpful as anyone they met on campus. I did my best to always lend an ear to hear and a shoulder to lean on. Don’t get me wrong I also did my fair share of partying but most of my time was spent in the service of others.
This however did not come without a cost. While I was a whirling dervish in Austin I was almost non-existent in Dallas where my real family is. I don’t have any children so no I wasn’t a neglectful father but I feel as if I could have been a better son, brother, or grandchild. I operated under the assumption that everyone had their own lives and it was much more helpful for me to stay out-of-the-way and not be too big of a burden by asking for too much. I didn’t ask for anything unless it was necessary but I also didn’t visit home nearly as much as I should have. I called home sporadically at best.
My family never complained. They would always ask me to call more but they never guilt tripped me. My parents are grown, they understood. Where I really wish I would have done better is with my brothers. I’m the oldest of four and I never realized exactly how much my brothers look to me until I moved back home in August. Me and my brothers all are our own people with very strong independent streaks which led me to simply admire them on their own accord while ignoring the fact that they take a lot of their cues from me and for a good two to three years I was simply trying to lead by example. I didn’t offer the sounding board and advice role that I could have because I believed going to college and succeeding was enough. I shirked the hard part of helping them grow through the wisdom I gained. While I always had an answer for anyone who had a problem near me I provided none back home.
I’ll never be able to get that time back my brother’s will never be teens again but I plan on doing better in the future. If you ever find yourself in similar situation I hope you won’t take the losses I have.