"How vain is it to sit down and write, when you have not stood up to live?" -Henry David Thoreau
I have three moms.
1. My birth mom: She and I have had our ups and downs. We've had periods where we didn't speak at all for months (maybe even years?) at a time. We're very different, yet so much alike.
2. My step-mother: Until I turned 18 and moved away, I thought she could do no wrong. I realize now, I was naive. Let's just say, in hard times, a person's true colors show.
3. My "mom": This is who I want to talk about today.
I'm not sure at what point my math teacher became my mom. When I had so many problems senior year, I'm not sure why she cared so much. I also don't know why I trusted her so much. In a time when I literally thought the entire world was against me, I still knew that she was on my side. Even still, I never expected her to mean so much to me, or to take on the role that she has in my life.
Mom is probably the reason I went to the hospital the first time. When I was having thoughts of suicide and worthlessness, she convinced me that it was okay to ask for help. She also assured me that no one had to know. She came to the hospital the second day I was there. I was drugged up and passed out the whole time. She never woke me up. She just sat there, until she had to go. And when I woke up, there was a note...and a math book (: When I left the hospital, she's the first person I went to see. Throughout every other hospitalization, she always came. She was always there. She also scolded me every time I did something stupid without calling her. She gave me breaks when I truly needed them, but she also pushes me harder than anyone has before. She sees my potential and makes me work to exceed it. The closer we got, the more alike we realized we were.
The most comforting thing about my mom is that she doesn't judge me, regardless of what I do. The choices I make are completely up to me, and she knows that. She always says, "As long as you're happy, I support you." She doesn't care who I date, where I go to school, what I choose to do with my life, etc...she just wants to know that what I'm doing is good for me and is making me happy. She reminds me to take care of myself and to be rational in my decision making. Mom is consistently supportive. She's also a wake up call. She has no problem with "telling me straight." If I'm doing something stupid, she'll say it. If I need to get my life together, she'll tell me. Sometimes, you need that.
My mom moved pretty far away about a month and a half ago. My apartment is a constant reminder of her (she left behind couches, a lamp, decorations, and a set of paintings that I'm extremely attached to): at first that was hard, now it's comforting to come home and know she's with me. It's hard not to have her here, but she's setting a good example. She walked away from the life people expected her to live to follow her dreams and do something that she deems meaningful, something that will make HER happy. I know it was a hard decision for her to make. It's scary to move to a new country and start a new life alone. I know that she misses home: her friends, family, and overall familiarity. I also know that she loves it over there, and if it weren't for her limited access to Facebook, I don't know if we'd ever get here back over here (joking)! She is SO brave. Following what makes you happy when no one else understands why is really hard to do. Stepping away from your comfort zone and into a world of adventure is something that many of us will never successfully do. My mom is someone to be proud of!
So, mom, I miss you a lot! I think about you every day, but I don't worry about you at all because I know that you're taking care of you-- that's what you've always taught me. I'm proud of the adventure you've embarked on. I'm proud of the journey you are taking. I'm proud of the confidence you've gained throughout this experience and I'm proud of the difference you're making in the lives of you're students. I'm proud of the example you've set for me. I don't know when I'll see you again, but I know that you're never too far away. I couldn't have asked for a better mom. I love you.