Maybe it’s one of those introspective times in my life when I’m preparing to charge full speed ahead, but I can’t do that until I look back on all the things that carried me steadily (and sometimes less steadily) to where I find myself right now.
I am one of those fortunate ones that can say they were readily handed everything they needed to succeed in life. Just like that.
To the people who gave me everything I needed:
I want to say thank you. In all the years that I’ve wanted to be a writer, I’ve been far less afraid of what critics may say than of not living up to what I know myself to be capable of doing. Do I say that out of conceit? By all means, no. I blame it entirely on you. In those years, I’ve been told the cons of a career in writing; I’ve been told to prepare for unemployment, but a great deal more importantly, I have never not been told that I can and that I will.
It is you, Dad, that reminds me my bestsellers will put you in a nice retirement home and talks about me as if I’m already Alyssa Dulaney: world renown author. It is you, Mom, that gently reminds me I actually have to write to get there, while simultaneously telling me how proud you are. I hear and appreciate every word. It is you, Jamie, my best friend, that mapped out fantastical plot lines and created whimsical names with me at ten years old in a backyard camp out. It is you, Misty, that reads my writing, exaggerates its quality, discusses it with me, and listens to me ramble on about ideas and dreams.
I could go on in a never-ending list–Brookie-lynn, Spencer, grandparents, strangers that have left such kind comments–but suffice it to say that in the mind of this young writer, the voices of faith in me have drowned out any roars of doubt, impossibility, discouragement, and even lack of faith in myself.
Only this afternoon, I rediscovered the photo book from my high school graduation. In it are comments from you all, my dear friends and family. Here are a few that made me tear up (maybe):
- “Keep walking tall, standing strong, and HE is going to take you farther than you can ever dream.” -Dad and Mom
- “I love you a latte and am excited to see God use you mightily.” -Spence (Big brother)
- “I am so very proud of the beautiful, talented, and genuine person you are. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister or best friend.” -Brooklynn (Big sister)
- “Oh my beautiful Alyssa, you’re one of the most sweetest, happiest, and anointed girls I have ever met.” -Jordan Parks
- “And I hope your future is as excellent as boiled potatoes.” -Karaline
- “You’re a very brave person, you’re funny, smart, capable, and are both anointed and empowered to do amazing things.” -Josh F.
- “I also can’t believe I have managed to put up with you for 7 years… I love you anyways.” -Jamie Marie
So to you all–friends, family, strangers–thank you. You have given me, and continue to give me, everything I need to succeed in life. Because of you, I know that I can and that I will, whatever it may be that I am chasing or dreaming.