“Keep writing,” my father told me. “Never give up.”

These words will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I remember when my father said this. He had just picked me up from a nice reunion with my journalism classmates and our former teacher.

On the way home, I told my dad, “All I want to do for my whole life is write. I want to get something published in a magazine!”

After I said that, Dad smiled. Right when we were about to turn onto a winding road, he said those words I will never forget.

“Keep writing. Never give up.”

Ever since then, time has been a blur. I’m pretty sure he died less than a year later.

Writing was harder after that, but it was much needed. It was a healthy outlet that, while sometimes dark, helped me grieve and process my thoughts.

Sometimes, while writing, there was a sense of guilt. Words that were said by my father in my youth.

“The whole world doesn’t revolve around you.”

I’ll admit. Much of my teenage years, I craved attention… recognition for hard work. Even now, this is often an issue. So now, nine years since his death, I want to recognize my father. These words are for him…a thank you for building me up all those years.

Just like the winding road that we drove on as you said those words, life has been a winding road filled with anxiety and internal doubts. But your words can still be heard through every struggle.

I promise to keep writing with you in mind. I’ll never give up.