Missouri Army National Guard
As I prepare to walk across the stage, say goodbye to my childhood, and move onto the next chapter of my life, I can’t help but reminisce on the person I have become today. I’ve come a long way from being the girl that blew up the microwave in sixth grade because I forgot to put water in my mac and cheese, and that is a testament to both the power of maturing and the importance of the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Over the past four years, people have come and gone from my life, for better or worse, but every person has taught me a lesson. As I look retrospectively on my childhood, no one has had a greater impact on the person I am today than my mother.
My mother is one of the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet. She is the definition of what it means to be selfless. From a young age, I remember watching her go the extra mile for friends, family and people we barely knew. She is always looking for the good in people, something which I have come to learn by watching her. It’s not easy, because believe me I try, but she makes it look effortless.
My mother and I both share the joys and trials of being the only women in our family. It’s a role that brings about a lot of expectations. I’ve been a pretty strong advocate against the traditional beauty and social standards of what it means to be a woman since the day I was born. Femininity is a topic that I have always struggled with, but my mother is the one that has shown me that being a woman means so much more than what’s on the surface.
I believe it is time that I say thank you mom. Thank you for being my role model, my friend and my biggest supporter. Thank you for showing me unconditional love, even when I pushed your limits (sorry about my tattoos). But most importantly, thank you for teaching me what it means to be a woman, because if I can grow up to be half the woman you are today, I would be honored.