When I graduated at the bottom of my class at USC I was more than ready to take on New York City. I always knew that hard work, perseverance, and grit was for the poor and that my inheritance could get me far in the world. So after graduating, I invested in myself and started pursuing my dream job, being a verified Instagram influencer.
Just a few weeks after I started building my brand, my world fell apart. I was informed that my dad had to retire because of Parkinson's disease. I was absolutely devastated. Who would pay my rent? Would I have to get one of those sell out office jobs? Who would fund my trips to Italy, Paris, and the country where Crazy Rich Asians takes place?
Fortunately, my dad came through like he always does! I’ll admit that it did take a few weeks and a bit of nudging from me. I first had to ask for money after I blew most of our family’s inheritance on boat trips with Kylie Jenner’s second cousin. When that didn’t work, I had to resort to trying to low key poison dad for his sweet life insurance money (thank you #ratpoison!) Finally, out of necessity and fear, my dad agreed to go to work.
The first few weeks were tough for us both. He would come home and say crazy things like, “Claire, let’s spend time together,” or “Claire, please take a picture with your dear old dad.” Sometimes I’d be in the middle of a selfie, and he would jump in! It was incredibly rude but I knew I had to be brave and honest. I told him that his sickly image just didn’t vibe with my brand and it would be best if he didn't interfere with my work. Luckily, I found a humble one-bedroom apartment in the heart of downtown Brooklyn and moved out on my own!
Still, some days are incredibly rough. I get phone calls from dad where he says, “Claire, my bones ache and I can't stop shaking” or “Claire, I went to the wrong office and I am confused.” Those are the days I have to take time out from my “How to Take Effective Naps” class or yoga with a real Indian woman to go find dad or give him his medication. It's especially tough when he's in the hospital because there's no real filter that screams, “Look how cute my new Kim Kardashian boots are” in that off putting hospital lighting.
Other days, his boss will call me to let me know that the tremors are so bad that I should come pick him up because it's “incredibly sad to watch” and “Claire, he shouldn't be supporting you at your age.” I've learned to ignore those phone calls because they disrupt my creative process. How am I supposed to create new hashtags or enjoy my custom whitening treatment ($1300!) when someone is yelling at me? Most importantly, my one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn isn't going to pay for itself.
Although being an influencer can be incredibly exhausting, I know it would be lazy to give up on my dream. Honestly, dad is just re-adjusting to office life and I am sure that in a few more months, he will love going to work! Plus, my work is paying off and I’ve even given dad some amazing and free natural remedies to cure his shaky disease and mild dementia #daddysgirl.
Honestly, I am lucky to have a dad who can still work, provide for me, and most importantly, taught me the value of hard work.
Thanks dad! I am proud of you and will celebrate tonight in your honor as you work overtime for me!