IN A MOTHER-DAUGHTER relationship, most especially during the daughter’s teen years, misconceptions sprout, grumblings enter unwanted conversations, time spent together is no longer “playtime,” and space, sadly, sometimes becomes a necessity.
I myself have gotten into several disagreements with my mother; I believed then I had the free will to make my own choices. Yet no matter how gratifying it was to make things happen on my own terms, I suddenly felt something that went beyond the rationale of guilt and remorse. It was emptiness.
The distance between me and my mother did me no good, the euphoria I expected to feel did not materialize. If experience, as they say, is the best teacher, I got a rude awakening.
Having gone through the ups and downs and the craziness of a teenager’s life, I began to appreciate things that I initially took for granted. One of them is my love-hate relationship with my mother.
Never take the easy way out
My mother never let me take the easy way out. She wanted me to work hard for my ambitions, not just follow what others were doing, because she saw that I had my own identity and capabilities. She also allowed me to overcome, on my own, some of the most emotionally wrecking dilemmas in life, and because of that, I developed a kind of courage buttressed by wit, resiliency and sacrifice.
My love-hate relationship with my mother has taught me to think before I speak. Whenever we don’t get along, I often get scolded because I sometimes cross the limits, forgetting that even in an argument, my family members deserve my utmost respect. Given the countless times I have repeated the offense, her firm reminders have made me more careful and sensitive toward the feelings of others.
My relationship with my mother has made me outspoken. In fact, my being outspoken is a result of how my mother treated me as a child and teenager. She let me read a lot of books, encouraged me to make her understand my thoughts, and allowed me to voice my opinions about history, politics and social issues.
Whenever my mother and I would travel, she would always tell me stories about her life; she lets me write about the lessons I’ve learned from them, too. It may seem normal for mothers to recount how they got through college, chose the key people in their lives, and met our fathers—to me, these are stories that I live for.
No matter how unruly and messed up I can be, my mother never pushes me away. Instead, she lifts my spirits by taking me to places I never thought I’d go to, enrolling me in different workshops, and supporting my passion for writing.
As I express my thoughts on why I love my love-hate relationship with my mother, I come upon this realization: I want to be like her.
I want to be like her, not in terms of the career she chose, but in terms of how she lives her life—she learns from experience, guides us by example, and displays endless understanding and empathy. Simple as they are, her actions molded me into the person I am today.