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- Prologue -This is a piece that I wrote for a Free People blog contest. It is now featured on their BLDG 25 blog, but some revisions were made by the site's editor. Below is the original draft, and the published version can be found here. Jouir, and happy International Women's Day!
- Who is the Woman You Admire Most? -
This question always makes me hold my breath a little bit whenever I hear it. I was never one of those girls who spent every waking moment with her mom, and we have never had a relationship that effortlessly mirrors the ones I have with my friends.
How silly I was to think it needed to be like that.
I am nineteen, and my mother lives in a different state. It’s crazy the way border lines make you realize how little you know about creating your own life, and how much your mom excels at such a task. Suddenly, all of the late nights she spends at work, which are always followed by early mornings, and the time she carves out of her day to fumble through the pages of a Jane Austen novel, regardless of how worn the pages are, stretches my admiration for her to the moon and back.
My mom is a pillar, I’ve always known that. However, I didn’t realize just how load-bearing she was until it came time for me to get a flu shot by myself or to learn how to keep my head when all about me are losing theirs and blaming it on me. I have Rudyard Kipling to thank for that last one, and my mom to thank for reading his poem to me in the first place.
My mom gave me her eyes. People often glance at my face and recognize my father, but my eyes? They’re my mom’s. They’re green in the sunlight and blue when I cry. They’re always looking at the world, and when the world doesn’t look back, they’re grey. They look for cultures and opportunities and trust that spans for miles. My mom taught me to go the extra one, and once I’ve done that, go further. That’s how we found ourselves riding elephants in India, hiking glaciers in Iceland, and wandering the streets of Jerusalem feeling nothing but gratitude.
I don’t know what I would do without her. She signed me up for a monthly shipment of vitamins without telling me. She’s funny like that. She inspires me to not only envision my best self, but to channel that vision always, especially in the mundane.
My mom takes her own advice. I’ve never written an answer to this question until now, so I hope she reads this and inspires herself, too.