An Open Letter to My Stepdad

An Open Letter to My Stepdad

All the things I want to say to you — honestly.

Dear David:

First of all, I want to say I love you. I don’t feel like I ever say it enough.

It’s taken me a while to get to where I am today, and I have to thank you for most of it. A Stepdad was never a thing I thought I’d have – I had become so used to the idea of one Dad and one Mom, that any other relationship seemed inconceivable. As a seven-year-old, it didn’t really feel like I had a say in anything, including you – which, let’s face it, I didn’t. I must have thought you coming into our lives would weaken the close bond I’d formed with my Mom, and I didn’t want to lose that. I didn’t realize then that a Stepdad would make our family complete and make my Mom happy, but then again, I had probably bought into that whole Cinderella-Mean-Step-parent trope that I had associated with you.

That was the biggest mistake I think I’ve ever made, and one of my deepest regrets.

Because even though you may be stern – okay, let’s be honest, VERY stern – that doesn’t mean you’re horrible, like the Step-parent stereotype implies. You’re probably one of the kindest men I know. You didn’t HAVE to become a part of what seemed like a broken family – a single Mom and her tiny, neurotic daughter. You didn’t have to put in the effort and time and love to build a wonderful life for us, but you did. It takes a kind man to do all of that.

You’re intimidating, but in a good way. I wasn’t used to that personality; Mom is definitely very different. You really tried to be that dominating, responsible father figure that our family needed – which isn’t to say you tried to replace my Dad, but you were there for me in ways my Dad couldn’t at the time. I think, deep down, I harbored anger against you, because it felt like you were trying to be a physical replacement for him. Only with distance can I see you’ve only ever wanted the best for me and for my Mom and sister.

I think we’re the closest to a father/daughter relationship you can get. You’re the one who texts me when I’m spending too much money, being frivolous with responsibility when I need to shape up, and to remind me to respond to Mom’s texts and to yours (and I admit, I do try to avoid owning up to my faults, especially over text). You’ve almost single-handedly financed every weird medical and dental and dermatological and psychological issue I’ve dealt with since you married my Mom (and I’m sure now you look back on that money and think, wow, that could have helped with some other things), but you did that so I could be as healthy as possible. You also wouldn’t believe me when I wanted to skip school for being sick, because unless I was throwing up, then I could make it to class (and this is where I’d go crying to Mom, instead). You’re also the one who begrudgingly pays my rent each month, even though I’m (technically) an adult because you want me to focus on school and have a roof over my head. You’re the one who buys me printer ink when I’m low, pays the phone bill and doesn’t kill me when I go over the month’s data, lets me use his Amazon Prime account to ship things to my house, and moves all the heavy things around my house because I didn’t have a chance to inherit some muscle-building genes from you. You’re the one who is quietly judging the guys I date when you meet them, because you’re the ultimate deciding factor on who is worthy of being a part of my life. You’re the one who gets exasperated when I’m – well – exasperating. I’m pretty sure that’s the textbook Dad stuff.

Honestly, the more time that passes, the more I hate that prefix “Step”, as if you’re only a little responsible for my upbringing, when you’re an integral part of who I am today. Maybe in a few years I’ll still be technologically challenged and have to call you up to answer a simple tech question, or have to ask you the password for the Netflix account (because I’m still part of the family, even after I graduate college, and therefore get streaming privilegesright?), but I hope that no matter where life takes me, that you’ll always know how much I really appreciate you. You’ve supported me even when I was being an asshole ‘stepchild’, because, to you, I wasn’t a stepdaughter – I was your daughter, through and through.

You’ve loved me unconditionally, and for that, I will forever be thankful. I don’t think I can ever make up for the mistakes I’ve made in the past, for any shitty comment I’ve said to you or for any mistake I will make in the future, but I hope that from this point forward, I will remind you as often as possible how much you mean to me.

Thank you for being my Dad, sans-Step.

Your loving daughter,


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I Never Knew What True Friendship Was Before You Came Along

To my best friend, thank you for everything.

To my best friend,

Throughout these past few years, you have done so much for me. Probably more than you realize.

Our talks are my favorite thing in the world. Lord help the people who hear the middle of whatever we are talking about, though. We could talk for ages about nothing and everything at the same time.

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I never knew what true friendship was until you came into my life. I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Thank you.

Thank you for being there when my dad made me cry. Which was often. You even came to "rescue" me a couple of times.

Thank you for allowing me to grieve properly when my cousin passed away. You talked with me through it and made the tears stop for the first time.

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Thank you for always being a phone call or text away when I need you, whether it's three in the morning or three in the afternoon.

Thank you for always telling me the truth, even if it might hurt.

Most of all, thank you for being yourself. You are the kindest, most loving person I have ever met. You have the most beautiful soul and the biggest heart.

I truly believe you have made me a better person. I also believe I would no longer be here if it wasn't for you.

I love you and I can't wait to see where the future takes us!

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You Are My Best Friend Because You Have My Back No Matter What

Not everyone can be a best friend, but you can choose what type of friend you are to others.

The concept of friendship is pretty normalized. From the beginning of life, we form connections with other individuals hoping that eventually, it will turn into some sort of relationship. Remember the good old days when you would ring the doorbell of your neighborhood buddy and ask if they could come outside to play?

Friendship is a special type of bond, but being a best friend is something completely different. This title means that you have been awarded the number one spot in someone’s life. A best friend is someone you share the most personal parts of yourself with and you know that they have your back no matter what. It's an incredible honor to be someone’s best friend, but how does being a best friend work?

This type of friendship means that you have voluntarily decided that this person is someone you want to spend 24/7 with. This person just gets you and your relationship almost seems effortless. A best friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night when you hear a strange scratching noise in your ceiling, someone you immediately call after the most embarrassing thing just happened, this is the person you do the strangest things with and it is completely normal because they enjoy it just as much as you. You could say having a best friend is pretty fun.

There are also aspects of being a best friend that can be challenging at times. You need to be there during moments when it may seem inconvenient, but you do it because you know that they would do the same for you. Seeing your best friend in pain sucks, especially when there is nothing you can do about it besides be there. Sharing them with other people can be the worst! Especially when it seems like everything in your life is collapsing.

Not everyone can be a best friend, but you can choose what type of friend you are to others. Friendship is such a unique bond no matter what type you share. It has the power to turn someone’s crappy day into something a little less crappy. Having a best friend can be important, but friendships are just as important.

It is easy to get caught up in one relationship, but sometimes it is good to make sure your eggs aren’t just placed all in one basket as someone once told me. People come and go, that is just part of life. The people that stay are usually the one’s overlooked. Make sure you don’t overlook them for to long because they won’t stay forever. If you feel like you haven’t found your best friend yet, don’t sweat it. The right people will filter in and out of your life when you least expect it.

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