Many nights, I would sit on my bed and cry. I would think about the friends I've lost. I would think about the people who walked away. The ones who never kept in touch. The people who told me they'd be there through thick and thin, but left when times got hard. I would think about the one man who broke my heart. The absence of my grandmother due to her old age and sickness. Many nights, I would think about loss. I think about the many times I've heard the word, "No." I think about the kids in middle school who laughed at me because I was the new girl with the bright zipped up red jacket. I think about Adrian. The guy in my math class who said to the eleven year old Khanh, "You're not pretty enough."
As I begin a new chapter of my life, I am extremely overwhelmed by all the support I have received. The congratulations, the "We're so proud of you," and etc. While many people would like to attribute my accomplishments to all the things I was able to achieve, believe me when I say that everything that I do, I do it because I am inspired by people like you.
My friend, you're the one who believed in me when I did not believe in myself. You're the person who told me that if I worked hard enough, eventually, things will fall into place. You taught me faith, hope, and a thing called perseverance. You gave me light when times were dark. It's you. The people who never left. The people who believed in the value of my education and the ones who again and again remind me that I should never lose my humility.
I owe all of this...the sash, the gown, the diploma to you. Every morning, I would wake up, check my phone to see that I've received some kind of encouragements as well as someone wishing me a beautiful day. On days when I feel inadequate, it's you who remind me that beauty is from within. I am so loved. I know that. But I don't understand why or how I got so lucky. While I took some time to contemplate on the reason, one thing remains true. If I stayed consistent and loving, I will get to keep the right people in my life.
Because of you, I've changed for the better. Because of you, I get to use all the cheesy lyrics in the book to caption our moments together. And if this post resonates with you, I hope you know that you've changed my life and I hope to one day, make a positive impact on yours. Anyone who truly knows me would know that it has been a long and arduous journey. I've heard more, "Noes" than "Yeses." I've cried countless of times. Alone. On your shoulders. From afar. I've been rejected, undermined, and underappreciated. But despite all of that, I lived knowing that I get to cry happy tears. I lived knowing that I've surrounded myself with the most intelligent, ambitious, and resilient people on this planet. Moreover, I get to wake up every morning at four AM and smile because I have more than a few good reasons to do so.
Thanks for sticking by me. I am humbled and proud to be your friend. I love you.