You learn things from your mom, whether you notice it or not. Today is my Maman’s birthday, and I’d like to reflect on things I’ve learned from her. I believe this is what shaped me to be who I am today.
1. You can only depend on yourself 100%. She wasn’t saying this to make me think, eff the world. She was telling me that, you can’t depend on someone else for your basic needs. You have to provide for yourself, and not depend on someone else for your survival. So do what it takes to be self sufficient, and take care of yourself.
2. She never told me I was pretty. Growing up she never said things like, “you’re so cute” or “you’re so pretty” or really draw attention to my looks. If anything she went the opposite direction, and called me big ugly giant (that guards the temple gates). This isn’t as harsh as you might think. They were always said with endearment. Though she always made a comment if I had eye boogers, or my hair was a mess, because it’s always important to look presentable, and clean. She placed importance on being a good person, developing a personality and get people to like you for who you are not what you look like.
3. She pushed education. My mom wanted us to be successful. Which helps with item number 1 on this list. She made it very clear to me, that the only way to do that was to be educated. Read books. Go to school. Take classes. Learn. You can never grow if you don’t learn, or if you act like you know everything.
4. When it’s your time to go, you go. This is the hardest thing to accept. It sounds like you just lay down and not fight for your life, but she really means, you can’t be scared of the end. Live a life worth living. She was taken from us at 49 years old. FORTY-NINE. She will never play with her grandchildren, or see me or my brother get married. She lived a healthy life. No smoking, barely drank, exercised every day. Ate well. Drank plenty of water. Yet she was diagnosed at stage 4. WITH LUNG CANCER. Did I mention, she never smoked? If it’s your time to go. You go. She fought and stayed with us until SHE was ready to go. They told her she had three more weeks. She lived 3 more months. She wasn’t scared of dying. Our whole lives, she always told us (which is a little morbid I feel, but good intentions) how she wanted to go. Cremated. Ashes in ocean. And when the time came I knew what to do. Live a life worth living.
5. Your Children Come First. When my mom became a mother, that was her greatest accomplishment. We were her first priority. Not her job. Her job was us. No matter what, she taught me that when you have kids, you do everything and anything for the well being of your child. Not spoil them, but know that they depend on you for what they need as they grow.
6. Be Someone You Are Proud of. Do the things, that make you happy, and be proud of your accomplishments. Everything you do, consider, do you like yourself after doing this? Because that’s what matters. Love yourself before other people can love you. If you are genuinely happy, then find ways to help others be happy too. Be a friend that you would like to have.
7. Stay away from drama. My mom had her friends, and she had her fun, but she definitely steered away from people who had drama in their lives that they created. Yes it’s interesting, but you just don’t want to be caught up in other people’s business. And if you have a friend who isn’t looking to help themselves and really want to drag you down with them. Leave it. No use getting yourself worked up over someone else’s self imposed problems.
8.No one can hurt you, unless you let them. Not everyone is going to like you, accept it. As long as you like you, that’s all that matters. If people want to make up stories about you, or talk smack about you, let it roll. Because in the end, they don’t pay your bills, they don’t have an impact on who you are as a person. So why waste your feelings or sleep on someone who doesn’t matter. People not liking you is not the end of the world. You don’t like everyone, so don’t expect that. The only time you need to be worried about what someone says about you, is if it affects how you provide for yourself. But if that person isn’t paying your bills, BAI FELICIA!
9. Stand Up for yourself. Because no one else will. My mom was tiny, but a force to be reckoned with. If she disagreed with something, or felt injustice she would definitely let her opinions be heard, and did what she could to fix it. My mom would not let her family or friends be bullied.
10. To be happy with someone else, you have to be happy with yourself. Because of this, I spent a lot of time alone, figuring out who I was and enjoying the space, and quiet to do what I want. I was not dependent on the companionship of someone else to make me happy. And because of that, the relationships I have with people are purely based on me wanting to spend time with them, not needing to.