I got it from her.
With Mother’s Day being tomorrow, I thought I would dedicate a little part of my blog to all of the amazing mothers out there. To be honest, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today if it weren’t for my mother. She’s one of the kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever come across in life.
The thing about being an only child, is that everyone assumes you’re either spoilt, self-entitled, or very lonely. But growing up with Elaine, sure, she gave me everything I ever wanted, but she taught me gratitude. She taught me to value time and people over things. She taught me to always put myself first, but to help anyone you can along your way. As for loneliness, how could I ever be lonely, when my best friend is my mother.
Even when I was a difficult, hormonal teenager, my mother was still my best friend. There was no one else I told everything to, and I really do mean everything. (So if you know me, chances are she knows you!)
Here are just six of the traits she gave to me.
S T R E N G T H
Elaine is the strongest woman I know. She taught me to be strong in times of hardship, and she also taught me that sometimes, the strongest thing you can do, is let yourself fall apart, if only to learn how to put yourself together again. Strength is not defined by how much shit you can take and stay unfazed. Strength is allowing yourself to feel with every fibre of your being, to give in to happiness, sadness, anxiety, worry and excitement. Let yourself feel. I got it from her.
When I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression when I was 16 years old, the only person I got 100% support from was her. We clashed so often. She would trigger attacks. But she would always strive to learn more and more and more about what I was going through. She sat with me through every panic attack, even when I locked myself in my bedroom hyperventilating, she sat outside my bedroom until I had the strength to let her in. She pushes me to get better, and she encourages me to have the strength to walk away from toxic and negative situations.
I am strong. I got it from her.
C O M P A S S I O N
Compassion is something Elaine is known for by the people who know her personally. She is a natural worrier. She thinks about every possible outcome of a situation and stays awake at night worrying about everyone close to her. Her family and her friends are everything to her. Sometimes, me and my dad, Pat, actually have to hide bits of information from her until a situation has been sorted out, because she feels so deeply for the people involved. I have never met anyone who cares as much as she does.
I am compassionate. I got it from her.
W A N D E R L U S T
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
Something both Elaine and Pat instilled in me from a young age was the importance of travel. To explore. To see new cultures and have new experiences. We were always shocked by people who would go to a foreign country, and do nothing but sunbathe and shop. As my dad always said “they could go shopping at home! And the history is the heart of the city. It’s a waste, and an ignorance, to ignore that.” And Elaine studied history in school and was fascinated by the world and its cultures. Our holidays were planned every day filled with trips to museums, theatres, and attractions, and at night, we would walk around the area for hours. Exploring. Experiencing.
Today, I have a travel bucket list that is 8 pages long. I want to climb the Inca ruins in Peru, and wander the streets of St. Petersburg, explore the Pantheon in Rome, and visit my most longed-for location, the Indonesian islands.
I have wanderlust. I got it from
C O U R A G E
I have never been particularly brave, I’m a Slytherin after all, not a Gryffindor like her. At the darkest moments of my life, Elaine will sit up with me, all night if need be, and talk to me. We’ll make pros and cons lists, we’ll talk about everything that scares me. I’ll cry. She’ll cry. We’ll think of every way I can overcome the situation at hand. She’ll sit with me, saying nothing, until the panic attack subsides. She’ll hold me when I cry and feel like I don’t have the strength to carry on anymore. She’ll tell me to be brave, to look my anxiety head on, and say “I am not afraid of you.”
She gave me the courage to believe in a better future.
I have courage. I got it from her.
R E S I L I E N C E
This is, perhaps, the best thing she ever gave me.
She taught me that failure was just the first step on the journey to success. I have never been afraid of failure. Fear wasn’t a way of getting what you wanted for my parents. They let me make my own choices, “it’s your life, they’re your choices, we’ll be here if you ever need help making them”. It’s something I’ve always been grateful for. I was allowed to have my own opinions, and they were always accepted as valid. So you can imagine my surprise when one day I realised that, in fact, the world is full of assholes. Assholes who don’t believe you matter. That your opinion isn’t relevant. That your life is worth less than there’s because you’re a woman. I could’ve crumbled. I could have given up on humanity. But I was taught how to be resilient. When someone knocks you down, you stand up again.
Resilience is the key to success.
I am resilient. I got it from her.
K I N D N E S S
Elaine is an uncommonly kind woman. If someone needs something, she will go out of her way to help them. If someone needs to talk, she will be there with a cup of tea and digestive biscuit at the ready. Even if you have wronged her, she will kill you with kindness. It’s something everyone who knows her personally will comment on. Kindness is her biggest quality.
I had more of a struggle with my journey through kindness. Especially when I was in my early teens, kindness wasn’t really a trait I admired hugely. I saw kindness as a weakness, something that would hold me back from success. It’s only been through her and through Buddhism that I have discovered the true value of kindness. Treating every person you meet as you would like to be treated, because what goes around will ultimately come around. The karmic laws work whether you believe in them or not.
I am kind. I got it from her.
Some of the other things my mother gave me:
- Her sense of humour.
- Her wit.
- Her reading habits.
- Her laugh.
- Her sassiness.
- Her metabolism.
- Her persistence.
- Her emotions.
- Her fashion sense.
- Her style.
- Her love.
- Her heart.
I got it all from her.
From your two favourite girls today, Elaine, Happy Mother’s Day.