“You are all geniuses, and you are all beautiful. You don't need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are. Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” - John Lennon
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Not settling is a promise and a practice. It's something that you have to commit to and choose whenever the option to waver comes up. Here's what I tell myself whenever it seems hard or confusing... Remember that you were given a great gift, your life. Do you want to live it fully and be so happy that joy is streaming out of your ears, or do you want to struggle and suffer because you were too afraid to go after what your heart and soul craved and desired? Choose to live. It's not that life is too short - it's that life is too magical, fabulous and precious!
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(Original Post: DreLynn's Myspace Blog 5/8/09 )
This Mother’s Day I’m going to forget the flowers and... dare to know the woman behind the role. The truth is that mother and daughter relationships are complicated, not perfect. We love each other. We hate each other. We act alike. We couldn't be more different. And to be honest, we all have judgments, emotions and thoughts about this woman we call ‘mother'... too many of which go unsaid because we get stuck in our roles as mother or daughter, instead of being able to see each other for who we really are, WOMEN.
What would happen if you stopped seeing your mother, daughter, grandmother, aunt, etc. as her “role” and started seeing and talking with her as a “woman,” who just like you has dreams and fears, successes and failures, doubts and convictions. Maybe then we could all have the ‘perfectly possible' relationships we want.
My mom (“momma” as I call her) has been so good for me these past few months. She’s a remarkable person. She is strong, hardworking, smart, outgoing, and she’s provided for us like no other. She is my rock. My momma has endured as a mom mos def. However, the truth is, I’ve spent my whole life up until this point trying to be nothing like her.
I despised when people said “you look just like your mom” or “you are your mother’s daughter”. I went out of my way to live another way, almost like she was a bad mom, but it was nothing like that at all. I wanted to “love” not like my mom. I wanted to get “love” right, unlike her many (not as many as I’d like to exaggerate) relationships - I wanted healthy and functional “love”. I blamed her every time she uttered “we’re breaking up”. I’m not sure how I got this way actually. It might have been the fact that I felt her actions changed MY life. As most you know, I raised my sisters since I was 8 yrs old. I was my mother’s helper because she was a single mom. To me, I was a helper because she couldn’t get right with any of our fathers.
So all these years, I’ve always had “don’t be your mom” in the back of my head. Since the age of 16, I’ve had two serious relationships and a few in between, but for the most part, just two men have had my heart. I’ve carried this “don’t be your mom” mentality into both these relationships and I see now, the complications I created with this mentality. These relationships weren’t entirely bad, I feel a sense of gratitude now thinking about the experiences. However, I see now that at the end of the second one, at age 25, I had no clue who I was. It was so scary, I panicked even. I had become something I didn’t know I didn’t want to be. And when I tried to be who I wanted to be, I didn’t even know what that was! I had become something I didn’t even know. That was all me – not my mom! Her past relationships had nothing to do with it. Granted that I still loved the guy, I felt like shizz lol. Nothing hurts more than realizing you love someone you can’t reach, or that, even if you did, it wouldn’t work anyhow. Swear I felt that I was the only one who ever felt like this lol. I had to talk myself into getting up and getting ready in the morning. Alcohol helped. But that just numbed whatever until I was sober – and let’s be honest, not cool to be drunk forever haha.
One morning I woke up hung over - on both vodka and love. I remember thinking to myself “shyt this really sucks!”. I don’t know if my headache hurt more or the fact that I just wanted to crawl in bed for the rest of the month but I wanted to disappear. So I did. I spent the rest of that month in my house pretty much. Obviously, you can’t live a functional life like this. Jobs get in the way lol, friends call, you need food, bills pile up, and honestly, yea you just need to get sunlight lol. This is never okay obviously. Luckily, I don’t have pets or kids because who knows where they would have been. We did have a house plant – it died. But imagine feeling like this and having kids. This thought came to me one of those hung over mornings and it led me to thinking about my mom.
Mei-Lein’s dad left us when I was 8 yrs old. Mei wasn’t born yet and Candace was 4. My mom was 26 or 27. This was the first time thinking and realizing that my mom was MY age when this happened to her. And I know she loved that man with all her heart. Still, I know she never stopped loving him. The thing about that was he left her without a word one night after a fight. So we went on living but her, she was never given a chance to even try to get him back because she didn’t even know where he was. She had been abandoned with child but nothing hurt most like the abandoned heart he left her with. I remember her being sad actually – for years even. But she kept living and she loved again years later after we were old enough. She didn’t get those drunken nights or get to crawl under the covers with her broken heart in hand. She had 3 girls to care for. She HAD to go to work, She didn’t get the “mental health” days I took. And again, she was my age when this happened. When I realized this, I called her. I, finally after all these years, felt eye level with my mom. She wasn’t the mom who couldn’t get right… she was a woman. I had been so hard on her all these years and now I was finally relating to her as a woman. I envied her strength...
It’s been a little while since I made this peace with how I thought of her and how she really was. I relate to her a lot nowadays. I see now as I’m finally growing into the woman I always wanted to be, that I’m very much like her. In fact, I see a lot of the women in my family in this new light - my grandmas and aunts. They all had their own love stories and a story in which they coped with a broken heart. Those stories shaped the remarkably strong women they are now. My momma and I - we have the same coping styles and we somewhat love the same, and now, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing because she is the most loving person I know. If I could have just a fraction of her ability to love unconditionally, I’d be set. We spend a lot of time together these days and in this time we sew, shop, eat, & talk. I’m 26 and she’s 44… she is one of my wisest friends. I see now we have some of the same dreams, interests, flaws, failures, and stories. I relate to her as a woman this Mother’s Day and remain in aww…