Dear Mom, Dear Dad, While I can't say I've always triumphed at the way I was raised, those darn teenage years, I must say as I was reading this article today, I think you did a pretty good job.
I promised myself I wouldn't get into the Miley of it all that happened the other night but here I am writing this post because it has sparked my voice. (Because I know you as parents, I know that mom knows exactly what I'm talking about and dad hasn't got a clue but he's probably heard it rumbling around the past few days. So dad, ask mom.)
There have been times in my young adult life that I have questioned whether or not I had very much self worth and confidence. It fluctuated back and forth but it is easy to compare yourself to others and while that isn't a good thing, it is a thing.
My question was answered today and the answer is yes I do have self worth and I always have.
I used to wonder why it was that when I was invited to the parties growing up I never wanted to go, why was staying home with mom and dad on a Friday night more fun? Or when I did attend the occasional party why I, the dancer at my high school didn't want to "get down" on the dance floor with all of my high school peers. Now I'm not out to say that those who were out on that dance floor didn't have self worth but what I will say is that I just couldn't do it. I didn't feel comfortable and I would constantly check my watch to see if it was time to go home. Thankfully, dance conventions, competitions, and performances took me out of town on most weekends so I could politely decline the invites and that was acceptable without being outed.
When we moved from North to South Carolina the kids partied more frequent and I stayed home with you even more. You might have thought you had a "square" for a kid but I was in heaven at being the new girl who didn't go to the parties and got to hand pick her friends because we hadn't grown up together before high school. I developed closer relationships with my dance friends and I spent most of my time with them at rehearsals. You can't really get into too much trouble at dance rehearsals.
What I didn't recognize at the time is that there was a spirit at home I much preferred to the empty feeling I felt when going out. It was legal. It was safe.
I often think about some of my first weeks of high school, when neither of you were afraid to tell me to get my bum back in my room and change my clothes when that skirt was a little shorter than you wanted. At the time there may have been an eye roll or two but it is something that has stuck with me to this day. I strive to dress in a manner where I will be respected and I know it's because of that. I can't thank you enough for teaching me not to look to men for self approval.
I was grateful you taught me to wait until age for things like drinking, smoking, etc. You never pressured me into this choice, but made sure I knew you didn't stand for it and would be disappointed. Not only did my dance body need that treatment but my soul needed that as well. I still to this day don't pursue these things, even of age, and I've been blessed to find a man who lives that lifestyle with me. I know Dad, you might have imagined one day, after I was 21, sitting down and watching a Carolina basketball game with me and my husband drinking a beer, but I'm thankful for your support when we choose a Dr. Pepper or lemonade.
Though you and I find different ways to go about living our religious beliefs, I have always benefitted from being taught right from wrong at such an early age. It is something I hope to pass on to my children and that it will last as long as you have on me.
When I found Jordan I knew he was my guy because of the way we felt about these things and more. To some it may seem like a laundry list. You can't do this, you can't do that. But for me, it was the way you raised me.
I love you for showing me the attention I needed so that I would never put myself in a situation to go on stage and do something like what Miley did the other night. For raising me in such a way that if I was asked to perform like that I would have said no.
It might not have worked for everyone but it worked for me.