I Just Want to Make My Mom Proud

I am just like my mom.

The older I get, the more I realize this.

My mom has a big heart. She always thinks about other people’s feelings first. She always puts other people’s needs before her own. She always gives her all for the people she loves, even when she doesn’t get it in return.

The more I realize how much I’m like her, the more I wonder how she felt. Was she this lonely? Was she constantly disappointed in people, too? In herself?

I’ll never know.

My mom had things she wanted to do, but she was too scared and unsure of herself to do them. She didn’t know what to do or how to do it, so she just never did.

I remember her telling me not to be like her. Not to hold back because I’m afraid of failing. Not to not have any friends and be all alone like she was. Not to look back on my life with regret at all the things I could have done, but didn’t.

My mom was always so insecure. She always felt bad about herself and she let it keep her from doing the things she really wanted to do. She doubted herself and that doubt killed any dream she ever had.

My mom would want more for me. She would want me to pursue my dreams, even if I don’t feel ready or worthy. She would want me to chase my goals, even if I’m not exactly sure what they are. She would want me to be scared, but to do it anyway. She wouldn’t want my doubts and insecurities and lack of confidence to hold me back the way it did for her.

I can’t ask her now, but I just know.

She would want me to do more and have more and be more. She would want my life to be a thousand times better than hers. She would want me to break free from the chains of my insecurity. She would want me to break the cycle of self-doubt. She would want me to put myself first.

I am just like my mom. I have her heart and her soul, but I also have her lack of confidence. I have her empathy and her generosity toward others, but I also have her inability to put herself first.

I am just like my mom, but I am also more.

And all I really want is to make her proud.

All I really want is to live a life that does her justice.

All I really want is to honor her pain with my purpose.

I just hope I can do it.

December 1999

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