Thank you for raising me as an individualistic woman, you taught me how to ignore the opinions of others and to just be myself, unapologetically.
You taught me how to treat everyone equally, and to not judge a book by its cover. Thank you for teaching me how to be humble, and how to not take this life for granted. You made it clear that maybe we did not have it all, but there are many people who have less than us, and who would kill to have the luxuries that we do. You taught me how to be truly thankful for what I’ve been blessed with in this life. You showed me how to lift people up and support them, rather than tear them down and hate them. Thank you for raising me as a compassionate person, for teaching me to be the nice girl growing up, but to not let people walk all over me. You taught me to respect others and to be kind, because you never know what someone is going through.
You taught me that I don't need a man to feel “feminine.” You love dad, and while I do hope for a love like that one day, I know that I don't need someone to make me feel complete. Thank you for never doubting me, your willingness to support my goals and stand by me while I chose what I wanted to do with my life made me confident in myself and my own decisions. I don't have to second guess every move I make because I know when things don’t go as planned, I am strong enough to overcome my own struggles.
Thank you for teaching me to never settle. You go to work everyday, even when it’s the last thing you want to do, and work hard to give us a comfortable and happy life. You showed me how hard it is to be a woman in this society, and how sometimes we don't get the equality and privileges that men get, but to never give up and to keep pushing against that glass ceiling. Thank you for teaching me how to stand firm for what I believe in, and to go after my dreams. You taught me how to look fear and opposition in the eye and to challenge it.
You taught me what it’s like to be a feminist in this day and age, and why it’s important for me to work hard for what I want. You made it clear that nothing comes easy and that I need to work twice as hard to get what our male counterparts get, and that though it’s not fair, it’s worth it to see yourself succeed and to know that you worked your a** off to do so. You showed me that being a feminist isn't about burning bras and hating men. You taught me the true definition. You encouraged me to go to college, to work for my dreams, you made sure that I knew that I could do anything that a man could do, if not more. You made it clear that my worth isn't all about my body, that my worth goes so much deeper than that. You taught me how to fall in love with my own kind heart, and to appreciate how open-minded and optimistic I am. You taught me how to love my selflessness and my drive, and to recognize all of those amazing inner-qualities in myself and to be more proud of those rather than celebrating a smaller jean size or looking in the mirror and pinching at my fat.
You paved the way for your daughters to be successful and proud women, and I can’t thank you enough for the advantages you have given me. I’m beyond blessed that I can recognize inequality and challenge it, and that I can pay it forward and try to teach the lessons that you've taught me, to other women and men in order to make this world a more aware, and equal place. I know we women still have a far way to go, but it gives me some sense of peace of mind knowing that I can raise my future children, as strong and as passionate as you raised me, and they can continue the fight for equality among races, sexes, and sexual orientations, for years to come.
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young.
Thank you mom, for educating a generation.