A Letter To The Women In My Life Who I Am So Grateful For

An Open Letter To The Smart, Special, And Oh So Strong Women In My Life Who I Am So Grateful For

I love you, and I am so grateful and blessed to have you in my life. Thank you.

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Hi,

In honor of Women's History Month, I thought that I would reach out to all of the special women in my life — I thought that I would say thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for making me feel loved, special, and happy.

I know that I can get stressed. I know that sometimes I can let the little things really get to me. Sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to hold. Sometimes I need a little extra strength — and you have always given me that. I have never felt like a burden, and I've always felt loved. You have helped me through all of the twists and turns that life has to offer, and for that I'm grateful.

Because of you, I am empowered. You're strength as a woman, and as a human being, has made me feel as though I can do anything. You make me feel as though I can take on the world, that I am a wonderful person with so much to offer. The love and support you give me makes me feel as though I can do whatever I set my mind to.

You give me so much wonderful advice. You tell me when I am in the right, you tell me when I'm in the wrong, and you always show me how I can be and do better. You have taught me so much and helped me learn how to pass on that knowledge to others. I know how to be strong, smart, kind, and everything else in between — and I owe all of that to you. Thank you for that.

I don't know where I would be, or who I would be, without you. You have made such an impact on my life. You have influenced the direction my life is heading in. You have helped me grow, and to do so in the absolute best way possible.

You are a mom, a teacher, a friend, a bestie, an acquaintance, and someone that I couldn't imagine living my life without — you are a wonderful, special, amazing woman.

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am grateful more than words could ever express.

I love you. Thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

Ashley

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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My Boyfriend's Family Helped Me Find My Home Away From Home

Taking "home is where the heart is" to a new level.

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I have always heard that one day I will find a place that will feel like my home away from home, specifically with my significant other. Honestly, I couldn't envision loving a place like the way I do my hometown, let alone love it even more. Nonetheless, here I am, sitting in the Little Rock, Arkansas airport tearing up as I say goodbye to my home away from home.

Let me tell you about my hometown. I live in a relatively small town in Wyoming and it has always been my home. My family, friends and work are here in Wyoming. But, there happens to be this man who has my whole entire heart. His hometown is a little town in Arkansas, that also happens to be 17 hours away from me. I came to visit him in his hometown for the first time ever. Not only to see Arkansas for the first time but to see him for the first time in a month and to have the opportunity to meet his family.

I won't lie, meeting parents for the first time is definitely nerve-wracking. It's not that I am hard to get along with, it's the fact that I want them to love me because I love their son and I couldn't conceptualize that ever changing. From the moment I stepped into their home, I was welcomed with big arms and beautiful smiles. His family welcomed me, a complete stranger, into their home with no questions asked. Right away I knew I felt like I was home.

Finding your home away from home is easy to recognize. Home is a place full of love and laughter and that is what I found in Arkansas. It was a second home that I felt comfortable in. Feeling comfortable somewhere is not always the easiest feeling to grasp. For me, I feel the need to be in a comfortable place to be myself and call it "home."

I believe that it is essential for everyone to have a "second home" or a "home away from home." Having a second family can and does provide so much more love in my life I never knew I needed. I of course do and always will love and adore my family with my whole heart and soul but having these other people in my life gives me so much assurance that I'll always be surrounded with love and happiness. You can never have too many friends, too much family and certainly never too much love. So thank you. Thank you for welcoming me, loving me as your own, and showing me that having a home away from home is such a positive part of my life.

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