“Be respectful of your parents, your mom and I, we aren’t perfect, like you, we’re learning as we go, but just know every decision is out of love, every decision is for your well being, even if we make mistakes sometimes. Make lots of mistakes. Don’t ever be afraid to fail. Failure is the only way to figure out what doesn’t work and how to fix it… If anyone ever asks what you want to be when you grow up, tell them you want to be somebody. And please don’t be in such a rush to grow up, your innocence is the best thing you will ever have. Your imagination trumps any logic these adults will give you. Hold on to innocence and imagination for as long as you can, it fades away too quickly. Accept the fact that life happens too quickly, and you’ll go faster than you realize, and when you do, make sure to look back at it all. Every joy and pain. Every love and heartbreak. Every rise and fall, and be glad it shaped you into the man you’ve become… As long as what you’ve done came from good intentions, as long as what you’ve learned will help you move forward. Keep moving forward. With every step, look at the world around you and know it’s yours for the taking. Run when you want to, walk when you need, dance when the mood hits. This is the gift you’ve been given, to make playgrounds of your surroundings, to know that the world rotates so you can keep moving forward, with your arms out, touching as many lives as you can, bringing as many with you for company, doing a lot of good wherever you go.”
“For Aris”- The Asia Project
It’s hard for me to listen to The Asia Project without thinking of how many times he has saved my life.
And tonight, when I listened to “For Aris” for the twelfth time, I was again amazed by how relevant his words were. And as I listened to his words, I heard the countless times my mother and father had told me the same things, and I wondered when the last time I thanked them was.
So, Mom and Dad, in case I haven’t told you lately, here’s a thank you:
Thank you for loving at my worst and my best. Thank you for constantly trying to maintain the perfect balance between letting me make my own mistakes and guiding me along the jagged paths I often find myself on. Thank you for standing by me. For holding me when I’m weak. For taking care of me when I’m sick. For worrying about me not taking my medicine. For admitting that you’re still learning, and that you’re not perfect, but that you have always tried to be. Thank you for trying to be. Thank you for not being perfect. For making mistakes. For letting me know that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as I learn. Thank you for loving me when I have come to you and have felt like I was nothing more than broken pieces. For looking up my illnesses so that you can learn how to help me feel whole again. Thank you for making sure I never forget that when my world feels like its crumbling, my family will be there. And God knows we have had our fair share of crumbling, and this past year my world took crumbling to a new level, but you have stood here through it all. You weathered the storm, and you deal with the aftershocks as you help me rebuild. Thank you for trying your hardest to understand all the things that I sometimes don’t understand myself. Thank you for picking up the phone time and time again, even though you never know what waits on the other side. Thank you for being my biggest fans, and for seeing the light in me when I can’t see it myself. For never giving up on me, because your never ending love and faith has kept me from giving up on me. Thank you for telling me to clean my messy room, but never forgetting to love even my messiest of pieces. Thank you for being the best you can be as often as you can, and when you find you can’t be your best self, thank you for being vulnerable enough to show me. Thank you for letting me know that we are unable to always be our best selves. Thank you for loving me. For raising my sister and I to love with our whole hearts. To chase passion. To keep on climbing no matter how tired our arms are. To lean on each other when we can no long stand on our own.
Thank you, mom and dad, for more than I can ever thank you for.