In the event that my mother’s side has a huge get-together, the elders (as I would like to call the more rustic generations, because the word old is subjective) never fail to greet me with an “Oh you look like how your mother looked at that age” or the more common “Wow, dalaga ka na!” I’d normally reply with an awkwardly forced smile because really- and this has bothered me for years -what is the appropriate response?
Oftentimes I wonder if I really am my own mother’s child because let’s face it, aside from sharing a bit of genetic makeup, we’re both completely different people:
She’s conservative, I’m liberal.
She thinks with her head, I think with my heart.
She’s strong and likes taking charge, I’m passive and prefer to be in the sidelines.
She’s an overachiever, I know for a fact that I’m far from being called as such. Throw my brother in, I’m the odd one out.
I don’t know how (or even why) I turned out so differently. Those who don’t know me would probably think that maybe it’s because of my dad. I guess to some extent he was a factor, but for the reason that he wasn’t around more than because he was.
But see, I’m not here to talk about my dad. I’m here to talk about my mom because it is, after all, mothers’ day.
Going back, I know I’m far from being like my mom. She’s an incredibly successful woman and mother who managed to raise two children all on her own. I guess you could say that there is pressure when I think about what’s in store for me because I feel the need to turn out exactly like her. And judging by the way things are going right now, it seems far off since I turned out so differently from how my mother was. That, plus the decision to avoid the whole medschool drama and going for the liberal arts instead.
But then again, maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m closer than I think.
See the wonderful thing about my mom is how she lets me do what I do what I want to do (well, with activities not involving academics at least, because school is a completely different story) as long as I am happy. “Okay, as long as you’re happy doing that.” And I owe her a lot for teaching me that because it turned out to be one of the most important things I’ve learned from her: It doesn’t matter what other people think because at the end of the day, your own happiness should be top priority. It may sound selfish, but I’ve realized that in order to make other people happy, you have to first allow yourself to be happy.
And I’m happy she did teach me this because I’ve learned another thing: the journey to happiness begins with sacrifice. Although we don’t understand why we have to do it at first, in time we understand why things happened that way. As a saying goes, “When one door closes, a window opens.” We don’t realize what’s there until you’re forced to look.
So I’ve realized as I randomly went on blabbing about life with my mom in the middle of the night. I’m completely different from my mother, but hey, I guess I don’t have to be her carbon copy like everyone expects me to be. I can still be my own person and still leave her feeling proud that she raised me well.
Happy mother’s day, mom. Thank you for teaching us everything we need to know. You seemed shocked when you realized that I would be turning 20 in a few months, but don’t forget that I’ll always be your little girl. Thank you, I love you :-)
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