To The Person Who Is My Person, Thank You

To The Person Who Is My Person, Thank You

I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.
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The person in my life who I consider my best friend is never considered less than a hero in my eyes. When I say hero, that doesn't mean I expect her to jump into a fire for me or push me out of the way of an oncoming car, I mean she is the person in my life who I look up and I am thankful for every day.

Dear Friend,

I know I tell you this all of the time but I love you with all of my heart. When I was younger my grandma Pearl used to sing to her grandkids "You are my sunshine." I have always had an appreciation for that song that doesn't compare to anything other. This is why on dark days, I tell you that you are my sunshine. When I say that I am trying to express every emotion to you that I can in one simple phrase.

You are the person in my life that lights up my moments of sorrow and sadness.

When my grandma Rose died our junior year, I didn't know how to handle myself. Everyone mourns in different ways and I needed to talk. The second I texted you on my car-ride home from Tennessee, you responded immediately. You knew I didn't need advice and it would have been foolish for me to ask for, what can you really tell someone in that situation. You talked to me and asked me about memories, always responded until you knew that I was okay and there was nothing left to say.

That next week at school, you didn't let my sadness overrule our friendship. We talked and made jokes because you knew that it was what I needed. Sometimes when I won't open up, you push me to. For some, this may seem like a bad thing but I know, for me, it isn't. You know when I'm upset and how to help. Even when you feel like your words are doing nothing or that you could be doing more, just know that I appreciate everything and you are doing wonderfully.

You are the person that I want to talk to the second anything happens in my life.

I am often stuck in a situation where something funny or exciting happens in my life and I pick up my phone to tell you immediately. Often, I turn to look over my shoulder and you're there. My first instinct is to share my life events with you but at this point, when anything is worth sharing, you're already with me.

You are the person that I love and trust with all of my heart.

We meet in second grade, 11 years ago. We begin our friendship with the classic storybook connection. We talked, had a few play dates, and split paths as we grew older. The next time we talked was our seventh-grade year in choir. Just like before, we did not become immediate friends. We talked in class and had each other numbers but never really saw each other outside of school. Then one day in choir, you were upset. Someone asked you about it and you brushed them off, not wanting to talk about it. That night was probably the first time I texted you, just a simple "hey, what's up" and eventually I asked you if you were doing okay from earlier that day.

Our conversation, just as many do now, became very deep and personal very quickly. We talked about everything and our friendship was born immediately after that night. It has been years since that conversation and sometimes our friendship has faltered but only to come back as strong as it started the very first night. You are the person in my life who knows more about me than I probably even know.

You are my person.

Love,

Randi

Cover Image Credit: Tracey Ozee

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A Thank You Letter To My Parents

Because I truly don't say thank you enough.
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Dear Mom and Dad,

There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am to the both of you. I know I don't show how grateful I am enough, but I really am. You both have taught me so much, and going away to college and being apart from you has made me realize how much you both mean to me.

Thank you for your endless amounts of love, even when I probably don't deserve it.

Thank you for all your support, no matter what.

Thank you for listening to me cry on the phone, no matter what time of day, and no matter what reason.

Thank you for listening to me rant, ramble, or just talk at you over the phone.

Thank you for editing my papers (even though I'm old enough to do that on my own).

Thank you for making me laugh when I'm sad.

Thank you for knocking some sense into me when I'm acting rash.

Thank you for the meals, the birthday parties, and everything in between.

Thank you for all the advice, even when I don't take it. You guys are always right.

Thank you for the "I love you" texts. They truly make my day.

Thank you for making me so happy.

Thank you for working so, so, so hard to be able to send me to college. That means the absolute world to me, and for that, I will never be able to repay you.

Thank you for giving me the life every child deserves, and being such wonderful parents. When I have children, I want to be just like you.

Thank you for always being there for me. Without the two of you, I don't know where I would be. I realize I do not thank you enough for everything. And for that, I apologize. If I have learned anything while being away from you, it is that you are the most important people in my life, and I love you both more than anything.

So, mom and dad... Thank you. For everything. I promise I will work hard to make you proud.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=777079192352180&set=pb.100001503195533.-2207520000.1444613187.&type=3&theater

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You Belong Here So Stop Saying 'I'm Sorry' All The Time

If you don't need to apologize, then don't apologize.

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Picture this: you're walking down a street in a completely normal and non-disruptive fashion, and all of a sudden, someone walking from the opposite direction bumps into you. What would be your immediate response? If you're thinking that you would frantically respond with "I'm sorry," then you most likely have the sorry syndrome.

The over-apologizers of the world always feel like they're doing something wrong in one way or another. But why is it exactly that we feel that way?

A lot of us, and this is especially true for women, grow up with impossibly high standards to reach. We carry a belief that if we're not doing exactly what we're told at the right time and the right place, we're doing it wrong. That kind of logic is what leads to the constant need of justifying and apologizing: sorry I bumped into you; sorry I didn't close the door; sorry for coughing; sorry for looking terrible today. There's a sense of self-consciousness flowing behind these apologies. In attempting to break this habit, we are also working on our self-acceptance, and being comfortable with the idea that it is impossible to please everyone.
But, say you've worked on your self-acceptance and confidence, but you still find yourself constantly feeling the need to apologize, how would break the habit then?

Say thank you.

Firstly, let's differentiate between sorry and thank you. An apology is about the apologizer and what they did wrong. A thank you, on the other hand, is a form of acknowledgment to the other person. When we apologize, we're making the situation about us, when it doesn't have to be. Rather than apologizing for a trivial mistake, thank the other person for doing something right. "Sorry I'm late" for example, could be "thank you for waiting for me." "Sorry to burden you with this," could be "thank you for listening." This way, we are celebrating the other person rather than filling ourselves with a sense of guilt and pity by apologizing.

There's also a great sense of empowerment in replacing the word sorry. By breaking the habit of chronic apologizing, you are allowing yourself to take up space. As aforementioned, over-apologizers tend to feel like they don't have the right to be where they are. When, in reality, they are perfectly deserving to be in the position that they're in and don't need to apologize for it.
Swapping these words also affects its recipient as much as it's affecting you. Say you're out with a friend who seems to be particularly upset or in a bad mood. Instead of saying "sorry if I put you in a bad mood" or "sorry if this isn't what you wanted to do tonight," you can say "thank you for being here," and so on. In thanking them, you're acknowledging them for what they're doing. By apologizing, however, you're adding guilt to that person and making the situation about yourself.

It's important to note that the majority of people that over-apologize don't have self-involved intentions in saying sorry. In fact, most of them do genuinely feel guilty and want the other person to feel better. But, it's important for all of us to understand the implications of being sorry and know when it's appropriate to use.

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