So often we thank the ones who discouraged us and pulled us down to making our way in the world. The trend that ‘haters are my motivators’ seemed to be a constant ache of how women get to where they are because of the negativity and ill-will of others around. While this still a common occurrence, the importance on the positive experiences with women and others around you can be the change you are wishing to see in yourself.

In this article, I have decided I wanted to thank all of the women in my life who have had an impact on me and who continue to do so, to this day. While everything in the remembrance tank may not be good memories – it can be sad at times too – but it is important to see the good. Something I often struggle with is looking at only the bad and forgetting the good. With that, I am beginning my public thank-you letter; even to the ones who may not read it – here it is.

Thank you to all of the women in my life who have supported me along the way.

Thank you to my first friend, who gave me ramen packs and unconditional love while we played cards and games until our laughs could no longer be contained on human capacity.

Thank you to my best friend in middle and high school, who although coming from a privileged background, gave me a place to sleep and didn’t ask any questions, just gave.

Thank you to the best friend I ever had who was my heart and soul in high school; she understood me in ways I do not think I will ever be understood again. I am sorry for how we stopped being friends, but I am thankful for the impact you still have on me.

Thank you to my mother for being the propeller to my future; I would not have gotten where I am without her sacrifices and incredibly hard work. Even though we struggled on the daily, I did not even know the half of it all. Thank you for keeping my innocence longer than what should have been possible, looking back at it all.

Thank you to my sister-in-law for breathing life and uncontrollable fun into the family. Thank you to my grandmother, for although she battled her own personal demon, she still found the kindness and strength to tell me I am beautiful every time we saw another.

Thank you to my mother-in-law to help me see it is okay to ask for help.

Thank you to mother Earth for times are hard, but you still prevail.

All of these women fill me with strength from my past but also hope for the future – for all of the other women I can add to my thank-you letter. I encourage you too, to write a thank-you letter. It is incredibly cathartic and can be a positive way to include the women around you into an uplifting light. Thank you to the women reading as you give me encouragement to continue on and grow more and more every time.