To The Parents That Always Let Me Follow My Dreams

To The Parents That Always Let Me Follow My Dreams

My parents would look at each other, smile, and help me plan out whatever ridiculous thing I was about to do. That made all the difference in the world - I grew up truly thinking I could do anything I dreamed of doing, and that with a little help from my much wiser parents, it was possible.
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When Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech, she said: "And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." With all my other emotions following the election, this quote stuck with me. This is the childhood and adulthood I have been given by my parents: they have always allowed me to follow my dreams, regardless of how ridiculous and far-fetched they were.

When I was in elementary school, I decided I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist. I was an obnoxious and precocious kid, who thought I was special because I was in the fifth grade but reading at a high school level and did what I called "science stuff" with my dad (spoiler alert: I wasn't). I decided I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist because I had just started reading the book series by Kathy Reichs that the TV show Bones is based on. I remember sitting at the kitchen table at dinner, the book next to me in case the conversation became dry, and saying confidently, "I don't want to be a vet anymore. I'm going to be like Temperance Brennan."

My parents shared a look, and my mom smiled. "Okay honey, we'll support you no matter what you want to do." Another spoiler alert: I am in college now, but now to be a forensic anthropologist. I stuck with my original dream to be a veterinarian, though those dreams have evolved somewhat.

My parents always supported me in whatever ridiculous things I wanted to do - double major in biology and animal science with a minor in astrophysics (trust me - I know), run division 1 track with that double major and completely ridiculous minor, but most importantly, going 800 miles away from home for school when I had spent a maximum of a week away from my parents. My parents would just smile to each other, and figure out how we were going to make it happen.

I ended up at that school 800 miles from home; I didn't run division 1 track, and I didn't even double major. In the time from the beginning of my senior year until the end, a lot of things changed. The support from my parents never did though, and that was the only thing that mattered.

I never had a conversation with my parents where they tried to let me down gently, that whatever I was dreaming was improbable, impossible, and completely insane. My parents would look at each other, smile, and help me plan out whatever ridiculous thing I was about to do. That made all the difference in the world - I grew up truly thinking I could do anything I dreamed of doing, and that with a little help from my much wiser parents, it was possible.

I can't imagine my life without supportive parents, I would never have reached for the stars and pushed myself past the boundaries I had set for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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Dear Mom, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.
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Dear Mom,

I hope you know that I appreciate you.

You are the hardest working woman I know, continuously putting your family before yourself. Thank you for doing all of the tedious jobs that no one wants to do like keeping the house in order, cooking the food, and doing the laundry. Thank you for constantly putting up with my siblings and I. Thank you for always supporting us in our interests and hobbies. Thank you for investing in our daily lives and listening to our minor problems. Thank you for always loving us unconditionally.

SEE ALSO: 51 Things My Mom Didn't Think I Was Listening To...

I hope you know I'm sorry.

I know I can be a big pain in the butt sometimes, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for yelling at you, arguing with you, not listening to you, and making dumb decisions at times, but thank you for loving me anyways. Thank you for helping me stand back up, teaching me right from wrong, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.

I hope you know your love inspires me.

You live your life with a love that is contagious. Whether its nurturing love, tough love, friendly love, or romantic love, you have it all and you show it daily. The love you and Dad share is something I hope to find one day and the love you have for your family is evident in the way you constantly put us first.

I hope you know that you are my biggest role model and hero.

Ever since I was a little girl, you have been the person I have looked to in my life. You are strong, independent, confident, loving, supportive, and nurturing-- everything I strive to be as a woman and as a future mother. You give the best advice, even when I don't always take it. Though, I should know better by now because mothers always know best. Without you in my life, I honestly don't know where I'd be.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

Not only are you my biggest cheerleader supporting me in everything I do, you are the person I talk to about everything, whether it's good or bad. I'm honestly so thankful for the relationship we share because I've had countless screwups and you literally give the best advice. Seriously, thank you for being the person I can count on at all times, at any time of the day or even night to just talk with. I mean we really do have some of the best conversations, best laughs, best cries (when needed), and the most fun watching cheesy chick flicks together or going on crazy shopping adventures.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl With The Cool Mom

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- even though you probably already are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Honestly, I can't really imagine my life without you -- but it doesn't matter because I wouldn't be here without you, so here's to you.

Thank you for being you.

Love you lots!

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To The Step Parents Who Stepped Up

Thank you for loving me like your own.

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We have passed Thanksgiving, a time of being thankful for everyone around you, but it is still the holiday season so writing something to thank two very special people in my life seemed necessary.

Growing up you always expect this life with two parents, one home and a golden retriever or something…that is the "perfect life"…right? After thinking that and then realizing that was not true through my parent's divorce I did not know what to expect. When I turned fourteen both my parents got remarried, did I expect that? Absolutely not. Was it one of the best things to ever happen? Absolutely.

Step parents always get this bad reputation, they are controlling or do not like you, they are want to be parents or want you out of the picture. When both my step parents came into my life I realized very quickly that neither or they wanted anything like that, in fact, all they wanted was to make my parents happy. After seeing the happiness they brought my parents how could I resent these people? They never did anything to me, if anything they just made my life easier.

I will start with thank you's to both of them.

To my stepdad, thank you for loving my mom the way you do. Thank you for listening to me and helping me through school and growing up. Thank you for helping me when I backed into the garage door, and when mom was getting on my nerves. Thank you for singing and dancing with me and making me laugh whenever you could. Thank you for attending all my school events. Thank you for acknowledging that my dad is a huge part of my life and not trying to take his place. Thank you for making fun of me, buying me great Christmas gifts and being someone who loves me. But most importantly thank you for taking me in and treating me like your own, when in reality you really never had to.

To my stepmom, thank you for loving my dad the way you do. Thank you for listening to my rants and talking makeup and clothes with me. Thank you for helping me buy gifts for dad, or choosing what eyeshadow to buy. Thank you for going on any adventure Dad and I dragged you on and taking all those pictures (you take a lot). Thank you for acknowledging my mom is a big part of my life and not attempting to take her place. Thank you for cooking my favorite meals when I came over, checking in daily no matter what was going on, and making sure everything was okay. And of course, as I stated above, thank you for taking me in when you never had to and treating me like your own.

Moving forward I do not tell you two enough but you mean the world to me.

You guys have made me realize that stepparents are not always bad people, you have made me realize that the more people who love you the better and you guys have shown me that just because I am not your blood never made me less important. You guys have been such vital parts of my upbringing and have become such vital parts of my life. I want you both to know you are appreciated more than you know, loved more than you know, and bigger parts of my life than you will ever know.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being the step parents who stepped up.

Love,

The kid you made feel like your own

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