Name: Terrell Goforth | City: New Haven, CT | Instagram: @daretogoforthlifecoaching
What does being a father mean to you?
What a father means to me evolves daily. A father of one girl, I get to show her what real love is and how to be respected. I get to give her the game, so she has the blueprint to be successful in the world. I am a living representation of what a man should be to a woman as I model that in love with her mother, who is my fiancé. People take for granted the love between a man and his child. I wouldn’t trade this in for the world. I never realized how much I would learn about myself. Being a father has blessed me with a lifelong honor! God works on me daily to improve me. Each day I get another chance to be involved, be emotionally engaged, physically available, and show decisive leadership in decision making to best affect my family.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
Growing up, I didn’t have a consistent relationship with my father. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough because he was about 1,100 miles away with other children in his home. My thoughts were still, why not me. I played baseball, and like other kids, I wanted my dad to be present too. Due to him not being around, I began to resent him. After meeting my fiancé Vanessa, she took time and taught me about being broken and healing myself to reach a level of wholeness. I was able to connect with my father and have a real discussion about my feelings, which presented the opportunity for him to explain his point of view. With that opportunity, I was ultimately able to forgive him for the past and become present in building our future relationship.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I learned that despite what happens between the mom and I, my daughter is innocent in all of it. Our relationship is precisely that. I recognize the importance of a bond and consistency. I see what it did for me as my behaviors as an adult reflected a lot of what I observed and took in mentally as a child. What my daughter is exposed to will always be a priority to anything. Also, I would say being open-minded and realizing that I don’t know everything. You can learn just as much from a child as they can from you. Actively listening to your child is critical in their growth. As they begin to figure out their identity, they’ll attempt to convey information to you. Being shut down and not having a safe space to speak freely could give your child a sense of “ I don’t have a voice. No one wants to hear what I have to say.”
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
My fatherhood journey has been relatively short as I’m five months in the game. However, an obstacle I faced would be that I was trying to recreate how I showed up in the world during the time of becoming a father. My fiancé and I were six months into being engaged. I was also trying to identify what my role looks like a father and head of the household. Lastly, my career also was evolving into a more prominent role while becoming a certified life coach and launching my men’s empowerment brand H.I.M (Healthy~Intelligent~Men). As a man, the expectation is to show up. Juggling all these things at times, it was hard. I would say utilizing your partner, close friend, and or professional help when carrying a lot mentally.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
Be present, consistent, and enjoy every precious moment. If you run into hard times, don’t dwell on the faults. Instead, pray on it and be the solution rather than adding to the problem. No one is perfect, so be the best representation of yourself.
If you wanted to write a quick note to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would it be?
I couldn’t be the man I am today without you. Even though we didn’t have the best relationship during my adolescent years, I recognize now as a man that certain things were beyond your control. When I look in the mirror, I see you. Somehow I still managed to gain your work ethic, mannerisms, and will to make a way out of nothing when presented with problematic situations. I know we don’t communicate nearly as much as we should. That doesn’t bother me because we understand each other, and what we have created is extraordinary. If you still question my feelings towards you, know I have forgiven you. As I get older, our time together will get shorter, so let’s continue growing closer.
Thank you dad
Name 5 fathers you cosign.