The past 23 years I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing role models. One is biological one is not, but regardless they are my parents.
I am an only child and for what I lacked in siblings was made up for in love and dedication by my parents. From a young age, they made sure I was not alone and that I was involved in sports to make sure I was being surrounded by other children. No matter their life schedule or what was going on they always made it work, always.
Thank you for putting my needs before your own as any great parent should. Whatever struggles were going on in your personal life I never saw them or had to face any of them. You never let me worry or get consumed in problems that would be resolved. And for those problems that were not easily fixable, I was not aware of them until a new plan was thought out. Some may think this is keeping your child too sheltered, but I think this is keeping them censored from things no child should have to worry about.
Thank you for pushing me to do better, to be better. Neither of you went onto high graduation and high school was never a priority. But you still made a good life for yourselves. But from a young age, I was instilled with the expectation to attend college one day. My parents are not people who believe you have to go to college to have a good life, but they did believe I should take the advantages that they didn't get to. Especially if it leads to me following my dreams, which it does.
Thank you for giving me the example of a good work ethic and pushing me to have my own. I have seen my whole life what it takes to provide for yourself and for others. What busting your butt and never quitting can give you. Both of you could have just given me handouts and let me have an easy college experience but you did not. Instead, it was expected that I work and contribute to the things that I want. Even on my hardest days and when I wanted to quit you didn't let me. Now I can juggle many hats and I feel like I'm ready for anything and anything that could be thrown my way.
Thank you for never letting me settle for less than I deserve. Personal, professional and everything in between, thank you for teaching me my value. I am independent and never feel the need to lower my standards to be in certain company. Thanks to both of you I have grown a strong backbone and can stand up for myself with ease. I never surround myself with anyone who diminishes my shine or makes me feel lesser about myself. I am strong and that is credited to both of you.
Thank you for giving me the tools to succeed. By leading by example I know I am ready to take on the world. I know it has been a life long process and every day is still a learning experience, but thank you for being patient with me. For teaching me the ways to have a fulfilling life and breaking down the ways you actually live. From morally, metaphorically and literally teaching me what credit is.. I have felt ready for years. And many my age do not, so I am thankful I have someone who has made sure that after college I am ready to enter the world. That I feel like I will succeed in the world thanks to you.
Thank you for giving me life. If I was not blessed with both of you everything would have been different. If my mom didn't remarry and if my stepdad didn't step in and take the place of a father everything wouldn't be where it is today. If I didn't have you both I wouldn't be me. I wouldn't be strong, confident, determined and ready to succeed in life without you.
I could never fully express how much I am thankful for the life I have been given. Thankful for my opportunities, my learning experiences and anything else yet to come and for giving me a forever great set of role models. Thank you for being my parents and thank you for making me a person I am proud to be.