Day 1: Family

When thinking about first starting this challenge,  I knew who I wanted to begin this month with. Mostly because I know my parents for sure keep up with my blog every single day. Even though I try my best to thank these people on a regular basis, I still feel like I don’t do it enough. They have done and continue to do so much for me. I wouldn’t be here without them.

My family isn’t that big, either. But they are enough for me. Their love and support is enough that I feel like my cup runneth over.

If I think of someone who is beyond intelligent and dedicated to his work, it’s my dad. For as long as I remembered, he’s worked full time and part time on the evenings and weekends to support our family. So every opportunity that we both had the day off usually turned out to be some of my favorite days. And now I know way too much about game shows now thanks to him.

My dad always got me. We have very similar personalities and senses of humor that especially now we can either just sit in silence or have a thought-provoking conversation and feel so comfortable. It’s like we have our form of communication. I can fully be my sarcastic, critical self. And I can complain about his way of making up his own song lyrics and dance moves. He gives some of the best hugs I know. He is always my errand-running partner and provider of Sudoku puzzles. These are fairly simple things, but they mean the world to me. He doesn’t have to spill his guts out to show how much he loves me. I just know. Just having someone like that I know will always be there for me is the best feeling.

The same goes for my brother. Things haven’t been easy. Of course we had random fights when we were younger, we’re still siblings. But growing up and looking up to him so much, I often felt jealous of his ease toward achieving amazing accomplishments and praise. I wanted to be like him and receive that same sort of praise and feel special. I spent way too many years trying to “follow in his footsteps” in hope that people would like me as much as they liked him. But now I realize we are two different people. We have many similarities, but we’re better at different things. And when I knew I could forge my own path and find my own way to shine, I realized how beneficial it was for the both of us.

I can safely say he was my first best friend, and is probably still my best friend to this day. We understand each other on a level unlike any other. We can spend hours together playing games and watching shows. He is my go-to for TV and music recommendations (but sorry, I will never enjoy progressive rock). We’ll always have the unforgettable memories from David Copperfield and Paul McCartney. He can make me laugh like nobody else, crying and silent and out of breath. He’s always the first one to read my essays and give me feedback. I can be completely myself with him. I like to think that we’re both at an age where rather than him just giving me all the answers, we can learn from each other in different ways. Although I spent years running away from his hugs, I cherish them now. We’re to a point where we’re building separate lives that won’t intersect. I regret not appreciating our time together more. I don’t hear from him as often as I used to, but I think about him every day, and I love him so much.

And last but not least, my mom. Our relationship has a fair share of rocky moments, mostly when I was struggling and didn’t really know it. For the longest time, I didn’t know why we clashed so often, but it’s because I are ridiculously similar. I felt like I was failing her and me when I was emotionally vacant and counted every calorie I ate but felt too ashamed or unaware to ask for help. Now that we live apart, our relationship has transformed into one on touchy ground where we had no idea how to communicate with each other, to becoming best friends. I never would have predicted that for us. But I am beyond grateful.

We like to think we share the same mind. She understands the challenges I face on a daily basis and knows just the right encouraging words and wisdom to guide me. Although she wouldn’t admit it, she is one of the smartest and most beautiful people I know, inside and out. I strive to lead a life like her, to touch so many people’s lives and pray every evening and find the strength to overcome any challenge that crosses her path, all while taking care of her family. It blows me away.

All of this people deserve the best in this world. They’ve offered me so much and I feel like I can’t equally contribute back. I can’t praise them enough. We have our hard moments like anybody else, but I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t like my hometown, but knowing I get to see them and catch up makes the 4-hour trip worth every second.

I think you can see why I started out this month on such a high note. My words cannot fully describe how I feel, but I’m at least trying. And I’ll never stop trying.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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