Day 246

Sorry to get a bit personal today, but I feel this is a blog I should’ve written awhile ago.

I have so many people to thank for making this project the success it is. From sponsors and agencies to friends and family, so many incredible individuals have helped me along the way and I will always be grateful to every single one of them. And yes, that includes those I haven’t even met yet. But above everyone else, I need to send the biggest "thank you’"of all to my parents, John and Connie Taylor.

You see, I’ve led a very interesting life and they’ve always supported me at every turn. Whether it was my attempt to become a multi-sport superstar as a child or something as simple as dying my hair neon orange, they always let me be who I am. Hell, in high school, they even did the unthinkable and let my band takeover their house on a daily basis—something that surely would’ve cracked the brains of some other parents. When all was said and done, they endured it for nearly three years and never once asked us to “keep it down.”

But the things they did for that band go far beyond anything I could’ve imagined. They got us a van, so we could travel to and from our gigs. They funded a large majority of our studio time, when we decided to record an album. They helped us get the equipment we needed and always kept a fully stocked pantry for us. They provided endless feedback and criticism and never once questioned our worrisome fashion choices. With all their help, we were able to thrive as a regional band and ended up creating a lot of memories we won’t soon forget.

Now, I should also mention that my parents aren’t rich. But for as long as I’ve known them—pretty much my entire life, I’d say—they’ve always worked extremely hard to ensure my brother and I had a good life. They went well out of their way for us and that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay. Yet, I do want them to know that the work ethic I have is a direct result of growing up under their influence. And that's especially true for my dad, who has always worked harder and longer than anyone else I know—and still does to this day. It turns out I was listening to all that advice and knowledge they imparted on me after all.

I could go on and on about the things they’ve done for me over the years, but I think the whole band thing accurately sums up the type of people they are. They’ve always understood my passion for things and do everything in their power to help me succeed. It’s why all my friends love them and why they're so adored throughout the community. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that if you met them, I know you’d love them too. 

The caveat to all of this is that I wasn’t the most well behaved child and I haven’t always been the best at showing my gratitude for things. But I do hope my parents know how much I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. Even now they’re helping me with an endless number of things for #TGAA. When it comes down to it, I just want to make my parents proud. And this project is only the beginning of what I hope to accomplish in my life. I love them more than I will ever say out loud and just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for (nearly) 30 years of non-stop support, care and understanding.

I know I’ve been gushing about my parents the whole time, but I do need to thank my Grandma, my Aunt Theresa and my Uncle Dennis for being so kind to me throughout this journey as well. They’ve been instrumental in helping it thrive and continue. That's why family always comes first. Although I feel I should apologize to everyone mentioned that I didn’t select a more lucrative career.

Thank you! None of this would’ve been possible without any of you.