Tales of a Single Dad: Beauty in the Struggle

Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who unexpectedly lost the mother of his child to drug addiction. This blog series chronicles his experience with raising a female child alone in the  21st century.


Struggle, as a concept, is relative to all of us. One person’s struggle is not equal to another, but they are all relative to our unique hearts and minds. Some of us struggle to be heard, others will struggle to succeed, while still more struggle to survive.

In the chaos of our daily lives, the tumultuous rapid fire of our comings and goings, there's rarely time to take a moment to breathe, single parent or not a parent at all. Two things that held me through, from being dirt poor trying to make a business succeed, to burying the love of my life, were that there's beauty in the struggle, and peace will come to us all, some sooner than others.

Now when your world seems like its crashing down, you got creditors calling and a landlord banging at your door, your wife cheated or you just buried someone, read the words you just digested may seem trite, but it’s those times that this message is the most important to remember.

We all struggle, with rare exception, though our struggles may be varied and different, we are all more similar then we are different. We long for the same things; we strive for the same things. Beauty in the struggle means that you enjoy successes in life that mean more, gratification can come from the simplest of things, and the strangest of places. You appreciate life's ups so much more when you have experienced the lows. Whether its seeing a business you built with your own hands succeed, or a family Christmas together under the same roof, there's beauty in every struggle in life. It took me many years to understand this saying, but when it really seemed like my world was ending it would all start to make sense.

All roads lead to peace if you follow them; this idea has been a personal lifelong struggle for me to reach. Unhappy from a fairly young age because I was smarter than most kids my age, i struggled to fit in a lot, I struggled to deal with anger issues and impulses, and some of these things I still battle today, whether it be depression or anxiety. I learned through the years to cope, some ways were healthy and some were... well, let’s just say they were very much not healthy. 

Now I still haven't found my peace, but I know I will. I learned to control myself and grow as a person, I eventually began to write while very young as an outlet to cope, and found ways to express myself that were healthy and developed. It’s by no means a one size fits all scenario, but peace can be found anywhere, in a book, on a beach, or meditating on your 27th floor apartment. 

Value your alone time, which I know for parents is very hard to come by, but take a minute for yourself. One day I'll find peace with all that happened and a dream girl to share it with, until then wake up in the morning and work towards progress, work towards small goals if you need to, every success is important, as is every struggle.

There's beauty in every struggle, they make us who we are. They remind us of where we came from, and where we are headed.

Photo by Getty Images

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more


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