You might not remember that day very well, but I do. You might not even remember me too well, but I remember you.
In fact, I think about you often. I’ve thought about you during all of my graduations and in the midst of my major accomplishments.
Your presence reverberates in the back of my head every time someone says “Congratulations” or “I’m proud of you.” Most importantly, however, you’ve been there each time I’ve leapt from one stepping-stone to the next. You’ve been the fuel that’s moved me forward.
Thank you for doubting me.
There were instances in which my intelligence, skills, my drive and motives were questioned. There were periods of time when you laughed as I explained my aspirations. You condescendingly explained why I was not capable of certain things.
You built your impressions and doubt based off of shallow characteristics — things that hardly make me who I am.
Thank you for your false impression of who I am.
Maybe your doubt was grounded in something I said that day, an outfit I wore, the pitch of my voice, where I grew up or something someone said about me. Regardless, you must not have known me very well to doubt my future self.
Thank you for making me question myself.
Perhaps there was a small bit of truth behind your criticism. It is because of your skepticism and disbelief that I am who I am today. You see, I didn’t just want to prove you wrong, I wanted to prove myself wrong for even thinking there was a possibility that you were right.
Thank you for making me work hard.
If I didn’t know something, I taught myself. If I wanted something, I worked for it.
Thank you for allowing me to see that details really do matter.
I took the greater risk that would lead to a greater reward: I aimed to be the best person I could possibly be.
Thank you for building my up confidence.
With every accomplishment came even more belief that I could do anything. I could prove you wrong. I could reach my dream.
Thank you for allowing me to understand.
Every day, I’m learning. I’m teaching myself that there will always be people who doubt me, people who criticize and people who judge. I am constantly learning that those people are just the individuals who truly do not understand, and that’s okay.
Thank you for opening my eyes.
You might be off discriminating against someone else rather than focusing on your own imperfections, but still, you instilled in me the need to focus on the things I love about myself. You helped me hone in on what I think I need to improve.
Thank you for showing me who I don’t want to be.
Finally, you infused in me the fact that you are not someone I want to become. I do not want to become someone who underestimates another person who believes in him or herself.
Time has passed since our last encounter. I may not be there just yet, but I’m getting there, and I’m now certainly more than you ever thought I would become.
One day, I will accomplish what you said couldn’t be done — you just wait and see.
Throughout the battle, I’ve learned one important thing: While you may have been the fuel to propel me forward, I am the vessel. Ultimately, I’m where I am thanks to my own choices. I have full control of my life, where I choose to go and the type of person I wish to become.
For that, I thank you.
Sincerely, The Last Person You Should Ever Doubt
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