19 April 2007

I am my Mother's Daughter... *sigh*

I was going through my oldest daughter's scrapbook today. You know, the one with all the pictures that PROVE she was drinking and doing things that she's not allowed til she's an adult. Yep, the one with the pictures that she should have kept hidden until she's of age...

Anyhow... contained in the book is a picture I was surprised to see. I thought, wow, I didn't know she got a picture of Mom when she was here. Then I realized... it wasn't my mother... *violins screeching, distant screams heard*

IT WAS ME!!! *horror, shock, disbelief, denial*

When the hell did I get old? And at what point in my life did I begin to LOOK like her? (Only in photos, it's very strange.) I have never looked like her in the face. We have the same build, yes, but that's where the similarity always ended. Standing next to each other in front of a mirror, we do not have the same features. However, in every photo I look exactly like her.

Now, my mother is a wonderful person. Very open-minded, free-spirited (read: hippie) and very opposite of me (logical, analytical, physical.) She was ahead of her time when I was a child, though. Raised me to be independent, think for myself, stand up for my convictions. (Which may explain why, in this Barbie-lusting, girly-girl wanting world of men, I've yet to find "the one" who can handle me). Or that I can stand for any length of time.

It struck me as very odd, this realization. I'm certainly not ashamed of my mother. We're actually quite close. We disagree on many topics (religion, politics, you know) but respect the others' and move on. I love her very deeply, and I know in my heart, she feels the same.

I guess it's because my girls are getting to that age. The half-life between woman and child where they so badly want their freedom and I'm torn between being the mother that they still need in these final few months of girlhood and the friend they want in the beginning of their womanhood. I'm sure we all go through it. I know I did.

Because I was raised to be so independent, my mother and I became "friends" long before I became legal. Would my life have turned out different had she played the mom role longer? Probably not. There are some choices I still would have made, regardless, and those were the ones in which she didn't have input.

I watch my girls grow and blossom... they're beautiful (of course) and intelligent, free-minded and independent. Just like me. And I wonder, years down the road, when they see pictures of themselves and think they look like me, will this make them proud, or sad?

Will they look back and feel love at the fact that I raised them to think on their own, make decisions and be able to care for themselves? Or will they feel lost and hurt that they've been too independent, have committment issues because they didn't want to end up with someone that mistreated them, only to find that they ended up alone rather than trust someone, anyone, because they couldn't take the heartache of one more person letting them down?

Have I shown them how to have a good relationship? I didn't drag strings of men in and out of their lives, I didn't think it was fair to them. Do they know what a healthy relationship looks like? I'm not sure I do. Will they be comfortable enough in their own skins to accept someone, tolerate the shortcomings and still be happy? Or will they shy away from relationships, or have superficial loves and never let anyone in?

I was first year college when I had my first child. I barely knew what I wanted out of life, and here I was, molding and shaping the future of a child. And they sure didn't teach you what to do in any class I ever took.

I made my choices, lived with my decisions and took care of my responsibilities. I did without a lot of stuff for a lot of years. I walked away from my future, and let my dreams go without a fight. I was wrong.

And so I've told my kids to not be like me...

If you want to join the Service, do it. I didn't; I regret it. But join for the right reasons. Not for college money, but because you love your country and your way of life so much you are willing to defend her.

If you want to go to college, do it now, before life gets in the way. It is no fun working 3 jobs, going to school and having 3 kids under the age of 5. Within a 1 month span, I had my son, had my appendix removed, and graduated college. I do not remember most of that month.

If you want to travel, go, see the world. Do it so you have something to talk of with your kids when they get older, inspire them, make them curious.

Don't be afraid to leave home. I thought my world would collapse if I left my hometown. I haven't been back there in over 10 years; it's still running.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, stupid and worthless without them. Because in the end, quite the opposite is true.

Seek advice from others who have life experience, but do not make decisions based on what will make them happy. It's YOUR life, not theirs.

Don't marry at 18, 21, or even 25. Experience life. Become who YOU want to be, find the one that loves who you ARE, and THEN go down that road together. You will be eternally unhappy if you try to change who you are after you add other people to your life on a permanent basis.

Learn to be still. Find what you love in life, and learn to be content with it. Quit searching for the elusive "better thing", or you will end up middle-aged, alone and quite unhappy.

more thoughts on this later... I think I'm having a midlife crisis...

Miss B


Iva Smile said...

I think this blog is great-but then I tested as "Charlie Brown" on the personality test. :)

Miss B said...

Um, thank you, I think... :) lol

And Charlie Brown was very cool in his own backward way... I have several books of Peanuts comics from when I was a child...

stop back...
Miss B