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Saturday, November 11, 2017

lessons from my dear mama

I've been pretty bad (really bad, but I'm trying to be gentle with myself) at keeping up on my blog.

Today I was reading various publications I love and adore and pour over on slow mornings. Things like New York Times Modern Love, everything from The Rumpus, and Tin House. Anyway, I realized I created my blog because no matter how much I love all of these publications, I wanted my words to have a home that felt particularly cozy and without judgement. That was/is Life is This. And I'll try and be better about bringing the words home more often.

I woke up today with my mama real heavy on my heart. I'm getting older and learning how much I love her as a person. How essential she was/is to my becoming. How safe I feel knowing she just gets me.

She has taught me so much over the years. Directly and indirectly. Just by shining her light and loving me. She believes in me like no other. If I told her I was going to learn Japanese by tomorrow, she would say, "Oh, honey, I totally believe you could," and then, "Maybe we could go to Japan together someday."

She knows the ins and outs of who I am. She knows the weight of my bones and still cradles them when I come to her crying or overjoyed. Gosh, I adore her.

I was realizing this week that I didn't really know my mother until my parents divorced. I knew she was a daughter and then a girlfriend and then a wife and then a mom, but I didn't know that at some point, I would get to know her when she only belonged to herself.

Watching her switch from being someone's to being her own was like watch someone try and fly a kite- when at first there is no wind and it's bouncing on the ground and the string is caught around the wrist, and then frustration and patience are suddenly met with a gust of wind and the kite just soars.   My mom went from flightless to being the highest, brightest thing in the sky. And honestly, I could watch her soar through her life, her very own life, forever.

Here is a list of ten things she has taught me. They are the things I've journaled about over the years and when I re-read them I can't help but think, "the lady was always right."

1. You are the only person who can truly care for you. Hug your body. Be gentle with your soul.
2. The thing that gets you out of bed every morning has to be your own.
3. Flossing is essential. Essential oils are also essential.
4. There's a beating under your ribs and wherever that beating calls you, go there and live.
5. Living outside your truth is more painful than the feeling of disappointing others.
6. Find things to be okay in every moment. Do things that serve your being.
7. Black lace underwear should never go in the dryer.
8. Life opens up to those who are already standing with their face towards the sun, speaking "thank you's" to the world.
9. Maya Angelou can be quoted in nearly any situation. People's energy can just be "off." Sticking up for yourself is not the same thing as being a "bitch."
10. Dancing, giggling, baking things with "a whole lot of love" are all crucial to staying sane.

And for bonus, something she says to me that never fails to soothe like honey and hope: it all unfolds exactly as it should.


she's also just the cutest




My mama's wisdom has always been a favorite writing topic of mine, more posts here.

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