“If they won’t let you in the front door, go around to the back. If they won’t let you in the back, buss a window and jump in!”
-Richard L. Bush (1948-1998)
My Dad was one of the most driven men I have ever known. Perhaps in the nature of the Almighty, this was the best thing God could have given me: a driven father. In that drive, I learned to make space; not to believe that “No” is permanent; and there is a way to do anything you want to do.
With this year marking twenty years without him, I have now had the wisdom which comes through life experience to allow me to value all he left me. That stubborn streak, that ability to be both present and visionary, I can say I got from him.
This quote is one I use and relay most often to people in my inner circle as encouragement. This quote has always been a source of comfort for me since his passing. It reminds me not to let situations, circumstances, -isms, or criteria set by other people to stop me. My father, even within the seventeen years I had him, made sure I knew the value of being resourceful. He made sure I knew how to treat people, and especially how to treat the people you employ.
Perhaps, even living in a time where the trappings of womanhood are seen as hindrances, my father reminded me that my sex is never going to change–but there was a power to it that was undeniable. He wanted me (and my sister) to be pretty and intelligent: this way, no door could be shut to us. The most powerful thing this quote embodies is the willingness to work for what you want. As a young girl, as a young Black girl, that reminder that I would have to work for what I want–but, that I could have what I wanted? That is powerful.
For my father, to tell me, that I can do anything and let no one stop me? That endowed me with a superpower.
I think it is most amusing that for a man whom thought I shouldn’t be a writer as a consistent, stable profession, words are his biggest legacy to me. From those words, his words, the world got that much bigger.