I have been blessed with two amazing parents. Since the day I was born, they were always there to support me in the big ways and the small ways — from always cheering me on at my volleyball games to sending me care packages at school to calling me for encouragement before an interview to sending me daily "good morning, have a good day" messages.

The lessons that they have taught me in my 22 years on this beautiful earth have not gone unnoticed, even though I may not have always listened to them.

1. When they told me that I will never disappoint them, as long as I am trying my best.

2. When they told me that I deserve to be treated with respect.

3. When they told me that I would survive heartbreak.

4. When they told me that some friends are not life-long friends. 

5. When they told me to bring a jacket whenever I go out.

6. When they told me that growing up is not all fun and games and to enjoy the present moment.

7. When they told me that some people in life are just, well, mean and bitter. 

8. When they told me that it is okay to take time for myself and to put myself first sometimes.

9. When they told me that people need to earn my trust. 

10. When they told me that God has a plan, even though it may not be the same as my plan.

11. When they told me to treat others the way I want to be treated, even if they treated me poorly.

12. When they told me to always send a thank you note, email, text message, or phone call.

13. When they told me that honesty is the best policy and that karma will bite me in the butt.

14. When they told me to be humble, but to be proud of my successes. 

15. When they told me to love my body and my brain just the way they are.

16. When they told me to find my passion and to follow it with all of my heart.

17. When they told me to think before I speak so that I do not say anything that I will regret.

18. When they told me I would survive, even when I thought something was the end of the world.

19. When they told me to learn from my failures instead of ignoring them. 

20. When they told me to stand by my beliefs, even if that meant standing alone.

21. When they told me that small gestures go a long way. 

22. When they told me that they will always love me, even when I am being stubborn or mean or disrespectful or annoying. 

Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. I love you so much.