Whether we like it or not, we all become our mothers. Some of us are lucky, and it’s a blessing to grow into the kinds of women our mothers are. Some of us are not so lucky, and strive to become the exact opposite of who our mothers are. I’m thankful every day I am one of the lucky ones.
Growing up, I knew all about love, respect, compassion, kindness, and patience—thanks to my mother. While it’s taken years to even come remotely close to the level of perfection she deems she is, I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be who I am without her.
In the words of Rory Gilmore (and throwing it back to begging my mom to let me stay up to watch Gilmore Girls with her),
“My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. I don’t know if she realized that the person I most wanted to be was her.“
I recently moved away from her for the first time. It comes as no surprise to everyone who knows me that leaving my mom behind was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She has always been the Lorelei to my Rory (although we were both lucky to have a Luke in the picture all along). She’s the one I went running to after riding my bike off a cliff when I was 7 and the one I made sleep with me 15 years later following my first heartbreak. For my entire life, she has been the only one who could help me with anything and everything.
There is no one I can talk for hours with, argue for hours with, drink bottomless glasses of wine with (on occasion), cry with, or cry to, like I can with my mom. Even now, miles apart, she still drives me up a wall. Some days it feels like she’s texted me forty times and called me thirty. But at the same time, if I didn’t wake up to a text from her almost every day, I’d be missing her a whole lot more.
The last week was particularly rough for me—my family here in Colorado was out of town and I got rejected for three jobs, which ultimately led to me missing my mom, and having a few full-blown meltdowns. My first instinct is always to call my mom, and one conversation resulted in me bawling my eyes out and hanging up on her. It wasn’t because of anything she’d done or said, it was just because, despite our similarities, sometimes she’s too much for me. She is her mother, and while I suspect I’ll get there someday, I am not quite my mother yet.
My grandmother was always the optimist. She believed in religion and that there was always a “plan” for us. She was perfect. Following my conversation with my mom, her optimism and guarantees that her prayers and writings of affirmation would come through just got to me. I don’t believe in that stuff anymore. I’m a realist; I tend to believe that the world likes to drag you down more than it likes to pick you up. That’s where my mom and I differ. Like my grandmother, she believes prayer and affirmation make you happier, and I believe they set you up for disappointment. This is literally the only difference between my mother and I.
And so I have good reason to believe that one day my outlook will change. After all this time, I have started to talk like my mom, laugh like my mom, and (she won’t believe this), but living in a mess is actually starting to stress me out. I’ve been housesitting for a week and the sight of dishes in the sink is enough to drive me up a wall. I can’t tell you the amount of times she’s yelled at me for leaving my dishes in the sink, and now, I see her point. *Cue the “I told you so.”* It’s freaking annoying to live in a mess. Even the piles of clothes on my bedroom floor start to bother me after a few days—and that hasn’t been a thing in years. I am becoming my mother in nearly every respect.
A lot of people have always said I’m my mother’s daughter. It’s true, I am—but a lot of people only said that because I am the spitting image of her. The truth is, nobody fights like we do or loves like we do. That’s why I am my mother’s daughter—she’s taught me everything I need to know, and I know she’ll continue to do so until her dying day. The woman will literally be on her death bed and I swear she’ll tell me I need to clean my bathroom. And you know what? I’ll clean my bathroom.
My mom sent me a text the other day saying how proud she was of me for taking this chance and moving across country. She was proud because, according to her, I was braver than she has ever been. While I played it cool and said thank you, I started bawling when I read that. My mom is the strongest, bravest person I know. For her to say that to me was really something. I will always beg to differ with her on that one, mostly because I’m not as brave as she seems to think. I’m scared shitless most of the time of making the wrong move, and the only reason I can be so “brave” if you will, is because I know I have her supporting me no matter what. My mom’s my rock and my best friend. I couldn’t do any of this without her, even if she is 1,000+ miles away.
I am my mother’s daughter. And I’m damn lucky to be.
ps. Mom, when I get home for Thanksgiving, this is what I’m going to do to you. Minus the boa and crown, plus a glass of wine.