Since my dad passed away, everything's changed. He was a big part of my "why": why I work, why I study, why I manage my life the way I do. We talked about life - plans, hopes and dreams - every time we got the chance, which was usually during a drive. He would drive me from home to UTM to study because it was one of my favourite places to study.
When I was a child, I felt as if he spoke to me as if I were an adult. He would ask for my thoughts, and valued my opinions. He let me reason out my own decisions, and taught me to be strong and live with all of the consequences, whether good or bad.
As a teenager, when things got busy and all we had was breakfast, then breakfast was what we did together every single morning. He'd share a story from his youth, or talk about current affairs, and I would dribble on about my plans, hopes, and dreams. I talked to him about what I wanted out of life, and how I planned to get there. I talked to him about any obstacles I was facing and how I planned to overcome them. I told him about my principles and how I'd never betray them. I talked about my shortcomings and how I planned to address them.
I loved my father, and every day that he's gone is a reminder that I need to carve out my own path without him. A lot of things became startlingly clear following his death, but none more so than the fact that I built a lot of my plans, hopes, and dreams around his being here to share them with me.