Who would have thought you would have a daughter that traveled the world on her own because of you?
Through all my experiences, moving away to college, moving to Portugal, Iceland, Denmark, Iceland again, France, Kosovo, and Israel, I have heard a lot of comments about my independence. People say, “I could never do that.” They claim I am “brave.” I have a very hard time understanding what is so special about what I am doing. I am just doing what I need to do to get what I want.
I don’t see why others “can’t” travel, go to lunch on their own, walk alone somewhere, talk to strangers (with some caution), talk in front of a crowd, live in a foreign place, be comfortable being uncomfortable, simply be alone.
Through all my experiences, I have also met a lot of different people from various backgrounds. It still blows my mind that 20+ year olds don’t know how to read a map, find a bank on their own, go to the grocery store, cook their own food, do their own laundry, put together a table from IKEA, take a bus/train/metro alone…The list could go on and on.
I see these people and I hear these people and I can only do one thing. Be eternally grateful for the best gift you could have ever given me (besides life): my independence.
Because of you, I will never have to depend on anyone else. I will never have to worry I am not living my life to its fullest. I will never have to worry about missing out on anything. I will never be scared to ask for help. I will never be paralyzed by fear. I will never be too scared to say no, or to say yes.
Because of you, I am strong. I am fearless. I am driven. I am dedicated. I am kind. I am open minded. I am well-rounded. I am inquisitive. I listen. I learn. I am grateful and most importantly, I am independent.
So thank you. Thank you for being yourselves. Thank you for allowing me to be myself. Thank you for being independent. Thank you for allowing me to be independent. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for teaching me to be honest. Thank you for being loyal. Thank you for showing me what loyalty is.
Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for teaching me to accept support.
All because of you, I am living my best life, as my best self.