An Open Letter To Those Who Have Shaped Me

An Open Letter To Those Who Have Shaped Me

Thank you for all of your help and support, or to some of you, for hurting me.

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Let's face it, I wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for those who have shaped me into the woman I am today. I'm not just talking to my family and friends; I am addressing those who were once toxic in my life, as well.

To the boy who told me I was too ugly to be his girlfriend in the 6th grade, thank you. It gave me time to focus on other things instead of boys who have yet to hit puberty.

To all of my old volleyball teammates from 4th-8th grade, thank you. Some of us are still close; some of us haven't talked since the end of 8th grade. Each and every one of you helped me through middle school and prepared me for high school. I am immensely proud of all of you. You are great mothers. You are great spouses. You landed a fantastic job. You are working so hard in school to achieve your dream degree. You are shining, and I have enjoyed watching you grow over the past decade.

To my best friend, thank you. You are my biggest blessing. We have known each other for well over a decade though, so you're considered family. You have helped me through some rough times and I will never be able to thank you enough. I cannot wait until you're my maid of honor and the godmother of my children.

To the boy who broke me, thank you. Our relationship was my very first relationship. It ended very badly, which made me realize that I need to stand up for myself more. It helped me open my eyes because I was such a pushover. I don't deal with anyones shit anymore, and it's thanks to you.

To the girls in high school who destroyed every bit of self-love I had for myself, thank you. You made me never want to go to school. I love education and learning; however, I hated walking to classes or making new friends, because you made the rumors about me come to life. There wasn't a day in my life from ages 14-18 where I didn't want to kill myself, in fact, I tried too many times. I graduated from high school and promised myself that I would never let myself be treated like that again. I would never let myself "believe" that I'm worthless, because I know I'm not.

To my boyfriend, thank you. You are the biggest pain in the ass that I have ever had, but you saved me. You helped me grow and held my hand through all of the relapses and bad days. Even though you don't clean the house to save your life, I love you. But please start cleaning or I'm going to find another boyfriend.

To my parents, thank you. Thank you for never leaving my side, watching me make decisions that you knew were awful, holding me when I needed it, helping me with money (what's personal finance?), and being the best role models I could ever imagine having. You made me learn.

There were times where I hated you, I even told you that I needed to move away from you when I was 15 years old. Now, I'm old enough to realize that I didn't appreciate you as I should've. You both are my best friends now, and I am eternally grateful for that.

To my brother, thank you. You have helped me through so many traumatic incidents. I have watched you cry because of how bad I was hurting. But the crying didn't make you stop. You never left my side once. Sure we've had our fair share of fights, but I would've been mental, physically, and emotionally destroyed by now if it wasn't for you.

Thank you for letting me FaceTime you about a handful of things, especially about the dark places that I feel like I'm getting close to. You have grown into a great, handsome man, and I cannot wait to see where you go. I love you more than anyone. An ideal career: recreate Webkinz to where adults can play.

To the guy who came into my work and told me he was going to kill me, thank you. I am now way more aware of my surroundings and you've taught me a lot about the legal system.

To my dogs, thank you. All three of you. Well, maybe four of you. I chased a lost dog for 11 miles once and he made me realize what my purpose here on Earth was. So, yes; all four of you.

You have never spoken a word to me, but actions speak louder than words. Each and every one of you has had an impact on my heart and I can only thank you in treats and kisses.

To everyone in my family, thank you for your endless support. I am very thankful to have a family that hypes me up, especially when you post a picture of me on Facebook.

Thank you for shaping me into the woman I am today.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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