An Open Letter To My Father

An Open Letter To My Father

To my best friend and biggest supporter.

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Dear Appa,

For as long as I can remember, you have been my best friend, my biggest supporter, and the person who I look up to the most. Ever since I was little, you have encouraged me to be the best person I could possibly be. Anytime I had a problem, I knew that I could always come to you for help.

There are so many things that I admire about you and make me proud to be your daughter. A lot of people think that desi fathers are scary and domineering, but you are the complete opposite. I'm sure there were times when I made you want to tear your hair out, like when I totaled your car. But you were always so forgiving and understanding.

You have raised me to be a strong and ambitious individual, and I cannot thank you enough for that. Most South Asian fathers are expected to keep their daughters at home with their mothers, but you have always encouraged me to go out and explore the world. From teaching me to use public transportation and persuading me to get my first job, you taught me how to be self-reliant.

It is from you that I have inherited my love of traveling and discovering the world around me. I have learned from you how important it is to be aware of everything that goes on in the world and to constantly be open to learning new things.

I know that it isn't easy for you, an Indian immigrant, to be raising three children in the United States, but I just wanted to thank you for understanding our struggle in navigating cultures and traditions. You never tried to push a certain career or lifestyle path on me, but instead, you instilled in me that whatever I chose to do, I should try my best.

This year, you lost your own father, my Thatha, and I could see how much his death broke you. In spite of the pain, you made sure to constantly make sure that everyone else in our family was being taken care of, and you became the pillar of strength in our family at that time. I know Thatha was proud to have you as his son and I am proud to have you as my father.

Thank you for always being willing to put up with me when I'm being extremely stubborn or moody. Thank you for always being fair and listening to my side before making a decision on anything. Thank you for constantly encouraging me to improve myself. But most of all, thank you for always standing up for me and being my hero. I know that I don't tell you this enough times, but I love you.

Your daughter,

Janine

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together?

It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world.

Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening.

I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Your Relationship With Your Parents Changes Over Time, Here's Why

Four ways in which your relationship with your parents change from age eighteen to twenty-two.

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Over spring break I had time to think about all the different ways in which my relationship with my parents has changed throughout college. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but as graduation grows closer, I take time to note how far we have come. From freshman to senior year of college I have undergone a drastic change in how I appreciate my parents.

At eighteen, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible. I was going to college in order to be independent, study, and hopefully make a career for myself. Nothing could stop me and no one could give me advice. I was stubborn and hungry to explore the new life that awaited me. I didn't realize how hard it would be being on my own for the first time ever. I had never even been to camp let alone moved to a different state not knowing a single soul. I was happy for the new opportunities but quickly realized how much I had been sheltered. Initially, I resented my parents for my little life experience going into college but as the years have passed I realized I can't be so immature to put my lack of knowledge on them. As an adult I now make things work and advocate for myself. Your struggles as an individual humble you so you can come back together better and stronger than before.

Here are some ways in which the relationship between you and your parents change:

1. You don't live together 24/7, so you appreciate time spent with them.

When you're not sharing a space with your parents and they are not there to nag at you about chores, you finally get to know them as people. As an adult yourself you begin to relate to them in ways that weren't possible in childhood.

2. You realize what is worth fighting over and what is not.

You have learned how to live on your own and set boundaries. As an adult, you come back home knowing what can be improved upon within the relationship and what are things you can let go.

3. You have experience with adulthood now and can understand how really great they are.

Adult struggles are real and now as someone older and wiser, you have experienced a great many. You then begin to realize how your parents took on all these responsibilities plus the responsibility of raising/providing for you. You don't know how they did it, but suddenly you're mad at sixteen-year-old you who fought them on everything.

4. They are your biggest support system in wanting you to achieve your dreams.

There is no one quite as invested in your dreams like your parents. When you have no one to turn to and nothing to give you that extra boost of motivation, parents are there. They may not be perfect but they love you more than anyone so call your parents.

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