my dad the meat magician
The Youngs are a party of six. Mom, Dad, me + three brothers. My dad was 40 when he met my mom. He was busy building a business and making money was his thing. He grew up with nothing and was laser focused on changing his existence as he got older. On the cusp of Atlantic City, my dad spent summers working for his uncles who owned a deli counter. He saw that they sold meat + made money. Great, he would sell meat. Fast forward, my dad started a meat distribution company, manufactures, packs + distributes meat throughout the world. A one man show, he built a major facility with 45+ employees, ginormous spiral freezers, international distribution, with no formal education, no advisors, investors, just a whole lot of confidence, and even more blood sweat and tears. My dad is a meat magician — He produces millions of pounds of masterpiece to correctional facilities (+ otherwise) around the country. Not a bad business at all — there will always be prisoners.
My entrepreneurial spirit (and my love of meat) came from my dad: both Leos, lions, leaders, fire signs. Emotional, strategic, extroverted introverts who like stimulation and quiet all the same. Passion fuels us + depletes us. We feel everything. We have a shared love for food, sweat, work + our love to be loved. My dad taught me the meaning of hard work, without him realizing it. His way to parent was to let my mom do the parenting, while he worked to provide. He wakes up before the sun (if he sleeps), works + returns home after a tennis game, for a homemade dinner altogether. More quiet than engaged as we dined, he listened + detached from the day or silently planned his needs for tomorrow. Tennis is the one thing that allowed my dad to be present, to shut off from work, to let go.
Part of my hard work is to prove to my dad that I can. And for so long I sought attention from men because I didn' get the attention I needed from my dad. As soon as I was old “enough” I found an older boyfriend. I wanted to be recognized, and taken care of. I dreamed I’d live a life like my mom, the family glue: marry older, beautiful home, make dinner, make babies... but at some point I wanted to build a company too.
My challenge has always been to find balance between my moms compassion + joie de vivre and my fathers’ work ethic and intensity. I air closer to my dad and often need a reminder to be present + make time to celebrate. My dad doesn’t celebrate success. Like him, I am my harshest critic. Which begs the question - how do you measure success? That is TBD. Although with it, I hope comes contentment, happiness, joy, presence. And self acceptance.
I accept my dad for who he is. He taught me work ethic without even knowing. It took me a while, but i've accepted that his idea of parenting was providing. And I know he accepts that I am following my dreams, much like he did- but with a different purpose. Money is certainly a driving factor, but outweighed by my desire to change the world thru connection. To allow people to be seen, just as they are. Its about self acceptance, self love, and belonging. to make us humans a little less harsh, on ourselves in the process. Its about letting go of what is holding you back to get where you want to be. Its about love + hate. fight + flow. Food + fitness. Effort + ease. it is about the freedom to feel. Working hard + living young. Because what else is there?
Dad: I am grateful for your courage, your dedication + your protection. Thru hard work, I celebrate you everyday. I love you.