I know I haven't always been the easiest kid to raise. I'm dramatic, overly sensitive, and have unrealistic expectations for myself all of the time. But you handled my dramatics with such class and always treated me with respect. I never felt the need to rebel against you because I understood your expectations of me, and I respected them so dearly.
However, the most important thing you have done for me over the years is believe in me. I've been a dreamer since day one. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a writer. Sure, I went through phases of wanting to be a teacher, marine biologist, veterinarian, actress, and musician, but regardless of what career I thought I wanted, I would always say, "oh, and I'll write books too."
Being a writer feels like it's just as much of a part of my identity as my brown hair, or my horn-rimmed glasses. It's a part of who I am that I don't think I could ever erase, and I cannot thank you enough for never questioning me. There are so many parents in the world who would discourage their children from taking such an "unrealistic" path in life. In fact, most parents would at least try to talk me out of it at one point or another, but you never did. You never questioned me. I don't even remember telling you that I was going to major in English in college, I think we all just knew.
When I told you just a few weeks ago that I was planning on switching from a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing to a BFA in Creative Writing, you supported me. You didn't try to convince me to stay within my current, broad major. In fact, you encouraged me to switch to the major that was more specific to what I wanted to do.
I don't think you will ever fully understand how important your support is to me. While the rest of the world is judging me for majoring in something "impractical", you aren't, and that makes me feel like I actually have a shot. You inspire me to succeed, have faith in myself, and to always, always shoot for the stars.
Dad, when you told me you liked the post I made about Diana Gabaldon slamming English majors, that made happy in ways I cannot put into words. I was worried that what she said would frighten you, that you would be worried that I had made the wrong decision because a successful author with a zoology degree had said so. But you recognized that she was wrong.
Your faith in me is so strong, and I truly do not know how I got so lucky.
I wrote a play. You read it, loved it, and encouraged me to keep editing it.
You continuously check in on my projects and genuinely want to read everything I write.
Everything I do, you encourage me to do better, and to always be proud of not only what I have done, but to also be proud of myself.
You are my everything, and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for never doubting me and for believing in my abilities even when I did not.
I love you.
P.S. Happy birthday Mom! <3