A 'Thank You' Letter To My Absent Father

A 'Thank You' Letter To My Absent Father

Sometimes water is thicker than blood.

Dear you,

I want you to know that writing this letter did not come easily for me. There were parts of my life that I wished you were there, but then I finally understood that growing up without you was the best thing for me. Our paths have crossed and then they divided again, and to be truthful, I like it much better that way. This isn't a letter expressing my bitterness, but rather my thanks to you for not being there.

I want to be mad at you. I want to throw something at you and tell you that you ruined my life, but that simply isn't the case. Growing up without a biological father was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I want you to notice that I said biological. I had many people take your place. My mom, my grandparents, my siblings, my friends' parents, the list goes on and on.

You were simply not needed.

Not having you in my life made me strong, powerful, careful, and happy. I was able to experience things differently than my friends who had a two parent home.

I was able to experience an overwhelming amount of love and support from all different angles. I was able to have my mom go on every school field trip and watch me learn. I built a relationship with my mother that is twice as strong as it would be if you were around.

For years, I watched my mom grow with me. At the time I didn't know it, but I now I see that she struggled. She wanted only the best for me and she did whatever she could so that I would have it. She understood that early mornings and long nights would be tough in the moment, but help me in the long run. My mother played both roles and I couldn't be more proud of her. I hope that one day I'm at least half the women that she was and twice the parent you could ever be.

Most importantly though, I'm proud of myself. I'm proud that I made it through high school and that I will be a college graduate come May and I did it without you. I'm proud of myself that I finally understand that my life is perfect without you in it, even though I spent years trying to figure out why you weren't a part of my life. I have family who supports me, a boyfriend who loves me, and friends who are always around. I'm proud that I was finally able to realize that I did not need a biological father because I had many different father figures in all of the people around me.

Blood does not always symbolize family and sometimes water is in fact thicker.

I wish nothing but good things for you, but my life is better because you were not there.

Sincerely,

Me

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I Drifted But Now I'm Reaching Out

I'm not going to isolate myself anymore.

I’ve noticed that since I started college, I dropped a lot of habits. Some were habits that I really needed to get rid of, such as picking at my nails and snacking way too much. Other habits, though, I really shouldn’t have dropped. Maybe I just got too busy or lazy, or maybe it was just something for the high school me. Yeah, I’ve changed a lot in college but I’m going to try and get back into the good habits I had.

College gave me a lot of time. Suddenly I had all this free time and I realized that it was entirely up to me what I wanted to do with it. The freedom is really great, I won’t deny that, but what I noticed was that I found myself alone a lot.

Maybe it was my intention that some days I just wanted some alone time, but more often than not I found myself realizing that I hadn’t seen or talked to friends in a while. I realized I wasn’t hanging out with people anymore. I was alone.

Now, I know the importance of myself reaching out. Before I always worried that there was a reason I wasn’t seeing or talking to people as often, I mean, there was school so maybe everyone was just busy.

But I feared that I was missing out on so much was because I was unwanted in those moments. After gaining confidence, I've decided won’t isolate myself anymore. I’m an outgoing person, but I won’t be selectively outgoing anymore.

In high school, I could barely go two classrooms down without seeing someone and stopping to talk to them, and I want college to be the same way. It’s really impossible to know everyone at your college but reaching out isn’t that hard for me to do, I’ve just been lazy. I haven’t put in as much effort as I should be putting in and I know that if I want to keep some of the amazing friendships that I currently have, I need to not be distant.

It’s easy to drift away when emotions and events start piling up. Sometimes, the only thing I want to do is just lay in bed and not think about my to-do lists and schedules and problems that I have.

Once I start doing that though, I get sucked in and it becomes so hard to get the energy to get up and move. I don’t want that to be the case anymore. I don’t want to hide away with the “what ifs” and speculation as to why I didn’t go or get invited. From now on, I’m just going to go, and then see what happens.

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To My Best Friends, Thank You

I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.

I have gone through many friends in the past few years, some that lasted a while some that only lasted a few months, but you know exactly when you found your perfect person, soulmate, best friend, the one that will never get away. It’s the friends that stick with you through the toughest times and stay.

The ones you call at 3:00 a.m. because you got into a fight with your boyfriend and can’t sleep and they stay on the phone until your ready to sleep. The ones that you can count on to pick you up because you need a ride no matter where you are.

Dear Best Friends,

I just wanted to thank you for being you and for letting me be me. Thank you for letting me feel so much like myself when I’m with you. Thank you for sharing in my happiest moments, and for listening to my saddest stories and giving compassion and empathy from wherever you are. Thank you for being the only person I ever want to confide in. Thank you for being the most beautiful person, inside and out.

Thank you for making the world a better place, just by being in it. Thank you for defining selfless, always putting others before yourself, you are going to change the world just as much as you have changed mine. Thank you for all the memories we made at Disney this year on our senior trip. Thank you for practically being my second Mom.

Thank you for setting the bar so high and making it impossible to find another friend as good as you. Thank you for making these past years we have been friends feel like forever and for giving me enough memories to last a lifetime, but not ending there.

Thank you for making me hurt when I miss you, but for taking the hurt away when I see you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for the absolute privilege of being able to call you my best friend, thank you for being my person. Thank you for giving me these reasons, and a million more, to be thankful for.

I sometimes find myself looking back on my life and realizing how huge of a part you have played in keeping me steady when the rest of my world has been falling apart. How you have known what to say and do in the moments when I have felt all control slipping through my fingers.

Even if it’s just dropping everything and taking me for coffee, shopping and listening to me try to untangle the mess I call my life. Thank you for those days when the rest of the world is against me, for making me feel less alone. For believing every silly dream which enters my head and being excited for me about things which no one else understands. Thank you for always validating my emotions, for taking my side, for telling me when I’m wrong, for being honest.

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