It is something I have to remind myself of quite often.
For as long as I can remember, I have been told how much I look like her and how much I act like her. Even I have said it, countless times, going so far as to say I am her “Mini-Me”.
When I was 15 years old, I remember telling my mother, in a fit of anger, that I never wanted to be like her. Fast forwardseveral years when, as a 19-year-old college student, I finally relented.
Chocl8t: Mom. I give up!
Mom: What’s wrong baby?
Chocl8t: I give up! I’m tired of fighting it!
Mom: What are you talking about? What’s wrong? (very concerned)
Chocl8t: I am just like YOU! I look like you. Some things I say and I sound like YOU! I give up!
Mom: (Hysterical laughter)
This admission appeared to have been the nail in the coffin of a fight that had died. Was this to be my fate…to be just like my mom? Not only do I look like her but my mannerisms, attitude, disposition, and philosophies too? This is a very depressing thought for a woman who lauds herself as an independent, free-thinker who dances to the beat of her own drum.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My mom is a great woman in her own right. However, I am not my mother.
I have carved out my own identity and style and developed my own philosophies. While there are strong similarities there are also some stark contrasts to our personalities. We are vastly different in our approach to life and how we view ourselves and the world. These differences have lent themselves to very heated discussions and disagreements which used to leave me extremely frustrated. Personal growth and maturity has taught me to accept her as she is and to know we will never agree on certain things.
Through that same personal growth and maturity, I have realized that our differences makes us wonderfully unique and leaves me knowing…
I am. Not. My mother.