My parents have each played an equally large role in my life and I wouldn't credit all of my success to anyone but them.
You always hear how much mom's do for their children - guiding them through life with an endless amount of comfort and words of advice. But, rarely do we hear the praise and congratulations to fathers for establishing our emotional backbone and lifting us up when we fall, encouraging us to try again.
Yes, my mom is my best friend but my dad is the reason I am who I am today.
From as early as I can remember, my dad has always been my own personal audience in everything that I have tried, failed, and succeeded at. Whether it be on the sidelines of my soccer games or text messages from 400 miles away, I am always encouraged to try harder. He believes in everything I want and the fact that I can achieve them as long as I strive to be the best version of myself. He has taught me self-confidence and perseverance no matter what challenges come my way - because no hardship is worth losing myself. A simple, "you got it bud" out of his mouth is almost enough to get me to try anything.
My dreams have always been bigger than life itself. Whether it was thinking I was going to grow up to be an actress or actually growing up and realizing that I wanted to go to school two states away, I always had a hype man within my dad. I
wanted the world, and still do, and my dad recognizes that. He has a way of convincing everyone that anything he says is right, and most of the time, he is. I was persuaded time after time again to follow my dreams and achieve my goals because he knew I could, even when I thought that I couldn't.
Eighteen years of life brings a multitude of highs and lows, mistakes and accomplishments. Trust me when I say that I've had my fair share of all of them. Throughout it all, however, I was always taught by my dad that I am my own person and no one can make decisions for me beside myself.
He put his whole heart and confidence into the fact that he had raised me properly and knew I was going to do the right thing, and it turns out, I almost always did. This guidance as a father has allowed me to mature much faster than others and hold myself accountable for everything that I do.
I have learned responsibility and the consequences of my actions from him.
When my dad had two girls, one of us was inevitably going to be raised as close to a boy as possible. I was the chosen one. I knew how to shoot a gun by the time my seventh birthday rolled around. I was taught how to kick and throw any type of ball well before most people. I often enjoyed riding four-wheelers and playing flag football more than I did braiding a Barbie's hair - and I wouldn't have rather it been any other way.
My dad raised me with a 'screw sexism' mentality and I am so beyond thankful for that. I wasn't raised like a stereotypical girl and my dad really had me believing that anything a boy could do, I could do better. I bleed strength and courage because of this. I allow myself to try new things and not be afraid because he taught me that strength conquers all.
My dad is the definition of an angel in human form.
He cares so deeply for everyone around him but isn't afraid to stand his ground when necessary. He's loving and compassionate and doesn't start something that he knows he can't finish. I know it's a cliche to want to marry someone similar to your father, but I believe it is true. I will consider myself lucky if I can find a man who is half as decent as my dad. I aspire to develop his wisdom, courage, and never-ending positivity. For now, however, I will continue to always take his words to heart and never give up, no matter the situation.
Superman is hard to come by, but I believe my dad is as close as you can possibly get. I will always be thankful for the person that he has taught me to be and the life lessons that he has inconspicuously drilled into my head. No matter the situation or distance, I know my dad will always be there to hold my hand and assure me that I am, in fact, able to accomplish anything that I put my mind to.