Like other young men and women, my parents are absolutely everything to me. How do you tell them you’re moving across the world? I don’t know a better love than the one I’ve grown up witnessing between them. They’re the best a young woman could have asked for. There is nothing I want more than to make them proud, I can’t stress that enough. Especially my father. I am such a daddy’s girl. I always have been and I always will be. With all his flaws, he’s perfect. I genuinely know of no better and I’m so proud to say that.

Needless to say, they weren’t excited about my decision to move. At first, it was something that was really difficult to talk about and honestly didn’t come up for weeks if not a month after the initial discussion. There’s really no way to pretend that it didn’t cut me to the core. I didn’t expect differently but it definitely didn’t make it easier for me. I think what my loved ones were initially failing to understand was that I too was having my own struggles with the decision to move back to Europe. I too had my own concerns, fears, and doubts. But I tried to set that aside and put myself in their shoes as their youngest daughter told them that she was going to be moving very far away from them.

As parents, I can only imagine how they feel about me, how much they love me, how it hurts them to be away from me. They raised me for the last 20 years and I already moved away once, now I’m going again. I’m sure it cut them deeper than it cut me. I thought about that too. If I was going to be able to leave knowing the people that weren’t able to come with me. It took a lot of looking inside myself to make the decision. But what really told me I need to do it was thinking about how I was raised.

I was raised with no limits to what I can do. I’ve never thought there are any obstacles big enough to stand in my way. When I set my mind to something, I will go after it with everything in me and more. My father raised two independent, strong-willed, intelligent, selfless, hard-working, motivated women – I decided that I would not let that go to waste. My drive sets me apart from the rest. I was born to lead. I’ve always felt that way and I’m sure a lot of people do. But if you know me, if you’re close to me, you know what I’m talking about. I never felt like I fit in with any specific group, both in high school and in college.

So I decided that through their sorrows they would want me to go. I know it might be hard for them to accept and support my decision, but this is how strong they raised me to be. I know they’re proud of the fact that I could make it and make it with a strong sense of conviction. That right there, that drives me. That motivates me. That keeps me going after whatever I want. When you’re as lucky to be loved the way that I’ve been loved, you realize that there’s nothing you could do to make them not proud of you. I made a decision for myself and my own happiness and I will forever stick by it. That’s just the way I was raised.