My dad asked me once ‘are you ready to give up being a writer?’ And this turned out to be one of the best advice I’ve ever received.

I have 3 siblings: a sister and two brothers, all of them are older than me. There’s a 12, 9 and 7 years gap between each of them and me, so I was basically raised with only one of them, the 3rd on the ‘line’… Still, I have a great relationship with all my siblings and my whole life I’ve heard stories about them growing up, which made me feel even more connected to them — almost as if I was there all along!

At some point in 2015, when I decided I wanted to become a writer, my dad told me a little story about one of my brothers:

Years ago, my brother was some sort of athletic star in ascension in Brazil. He was accustomed to winning every competition he ever competed in and, from day one, he showed this fantastic talent in High Jump, what impressed one of the best High Jump trainers in São Paulo. He had everything: support, will, drive, passion and talent, a true talent!

Until he hurt his knee.

My dad took my brother to several doctors, who told them my brother could only go back to Athleticism with years of sweat and pain and that even then, there was not enough certainty he would ever become as good as he was before…

So my dad asked him: “Son, are you ready to give up Athleticism?” And my brother thought carefully for days until he sighed and told my dad “yes.”

So if your old choices are not adequate anymore, remember you’re no tied to them: Change them!

And he gave up. And he never, even once, regretted that choice: He’s a doctor today, a physiotherapist who helps people to walk again, against all odds. Last year, he helped my grandfather walk after weeks without even being able to get up! And he’s proud, we’re all proud of him for his amazing work and for finding what he truly loves and what he truly wants to do in his life…

Once my father finished this story, I was in tears. I put my beer down and hid my face and cried and cried — but my dad raised his voice so I could hear when he asked me the same question: “Are you ready to give up being a writer?”

For days I couldn’t answer him. For days I thought about it and balanced my options and I tried to understand beyond that question: was he telling me I should give up? Was he telling me he didn’t believe in me?

A couple of days later I took a deep breath and sat in front of him. “Pai,” I said — the Portuguese for ‘dad’.

“Are you ready to give up?” He asked.

And I said, tears in my eyes, that “no, I’m not. And I won’t ever be.”

He smiled, patted my shoulder. “Then I’m sure you’ll make it, just like your brother did.”

And I thought a LOT about it. My brother gave up Athleticism because he didn’t want to compete anymore — it didn’t make sense to him anymore! He decided to move on, to find his true calling, something he’d truly love to do: and he did it!

Because we all have our choices and we all have to think carefully about them — but remember, contrary to what people may tell you, life is long. You have time to do what you want. So if your old choices are not adequate anymore, remember you’re no tied to them: Change them! Choose something else, live something else! But if you’re ready to lose years of your life working hard for something, if you’re ready to face any kind of consequence this choice would bring… Above everything, if you’re NOT ready to give up or if you feel you won’t EVER be, then go ahead.

Go ahead with all you’ve got because whatever the result may be, you’ll do your BEST. And nothing else matters.

Kisses,
— Ligia

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