An Open Letter To All The Women In My Life

First and foremost, I want to start off by saying thank you. There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for what you have done for me, no matter big or small. You have made me into the person I am today, and I wouldn't change anything about myself. I am a strong, independent young adult who is trying to navigate this crazy thing called life, and if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be where I am today.

To my mom, where do I even begin? Thank you for raising me and doing a hell of a job at it. As I grow older, I realize more and more what you have done for me, and I don't think you know just how much I love you for that. I don't think I will truly understand everything until I become a mom myself, but I promise I am trying my best. I want to thank you for staying up late with me listening to all the miniscule drama in my life that is irrelevant - but you listen anyways. You are always there for me when I'm not always there for myself. I appreciate your hard-work ethic, your kindness and care towards others, and your overall attitude. I love you mom, and thank you.

To my friends mom's, thank you for being like my second mom's. You bring a new light to my life; a new perspective. You show me love and warmth when I am hanging out with your daughters or sons, and you treat me like one of your own. Thank you for being there for me during sports practices, inviting me on your trips, and loving me like my own mother does. I love you friends mom's, and thank you.

To my aunts, thank you for raising me like your own. When I need an opinion on something, or I need a non-biased perspective, I know I can always come to you. Thank you for helping raise me and making me the person I am today. I also want to thank you for buying me cute outfits when I was younger, taking endless pictures of me, and allowing me to have sleepovers at your house. I love you aunts, and thank you.

To my grandma's, thank you for your continuous unconditional love. Thank you for teaching me how to be potty-trained, for helping me take my first steps, for buying me my first new outfits, and for babysitting me when my parents were at work. There is nothing like a grandmother's love, or kisses on the cheek, and I want to thank you for helping raise me. I love hearing about all your stories, about where you came from and how you got here, and all the struggles you went through. It makes me appreciate how I got to be who I am, and the opportunities I've been given. I love you grandma's, and thank you.

To my girlfriend's, thank you for being my friend even when no one else wanted to be. There is nothing like a good girlfriend, whether you came into my life at the beginning or came into it just recently. I value your friendship more than words can describe, and am so thankful to have so many strong women I can look up to. You all inspire me to be a better person everyday. If it weren't for all of you there to listen to me, I wouldn't be where I am at today. I appreciate that you are always down to do crazy stuff with me and try new things and experiences. I love you friends, and thank you.

To the women I don't agree with, thank you for teaching me how to value opinions and look at situations in a new light. You have shown me that there are many ways to look at problems, and that we should be more appreciative of one's thoughts and views. Thank you for showing me that I am not always right and that I need to take a step back and re-evaluate sometimes.  You have made me grow stronger as an individual, and I will continue to value your opinions. I respect you, and thank you.

To my influences who I don't know and who don't know me, thank you for giving me something to strive for. You are all strong women who have made an impact in my life in some capacity. Thank you for showing me how to persevere when times get tough, and showing me that a woman can be successful in any industry. Your hard work and determination to be the best version of yourself makes me want to be a better woman. As scary as it may be for you, I look up to you and hope I can be as successful as you are. I value you, and thank you.

To all the women I didn't specifically mention in here, thank you for being you. Whether we have met in passing or we've met a few times, thank you for having an impact on me in that moment. I could have been having a bad day, but your smile and positivity made me realize that my problems weren't really problems, and that I should be smiling. To all the women in passing, thank you.

To all the women in the world, keep being strong, keep being independent, and keep striving to be the best. Together, we can help make this world a better place.