Identity as a father

For the last 18 years, my identity is primarily a father and a software engineer.  My daughter is going to be 18 years old in a few days and I wanted to remind myself that a large part of my identity is not lost, but changed.

In order for her to be a fully formed adult, I have to learn to let go.  Let her find her own path, be her own person without being in the shadows of her parents and her adult guardians.

My opinions should have some weight, but it maybe should weight less than her good friends, her teachers and her future co-workers.

Her mistakes are no longer wrong, it might be just a learning experience.  Maybe her father doesn’t need to rescue every single one, until she ask for help?

In the next few months before she is off to college, I still want to spend as much time with her.  Just to be with each other. To remember, recall 18 years of traveling, day to day interactions, ways we learn to communicate with each other and the times we each said something that we regretted.

On the one hand, I mourn the lost of this part of my identity.  On the other hand, I am so proud of this caring, talented adult who knows exactly who she is, who her friends should be and such a loving person.

Thank you C8.  I love you. Onward and upwards.

Tony Tam (Li Zhi)

Senior Principal Engineer @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org