What inspires you? What makes you, you?
As cliche as it sounds, my parents and my grandmother shaped me. Of course many people along the way helped…but the older I get, the more I learn to appreciate my younger years and understand how lucky I was to be raised the way I was. I begin to see the ways I am just like my mom, and my sister just like my dad despite always thinking I was ‘my father’s child’ and she was ‘momma’s girl’. I am now seeing my parent’s hearts and soft spots rather than the strong fortress of all knowing and being I thought they were when I was a child. I see how my parent’s have changed from floundering twentie-somethings….to these confident, strangely human mid-lifer’s…..
The older I become, the more I see my grandmother. The more I see her smile, her humbleness, her joy, in strangers. As the line’s in my mother’s face begin to engrave, I see her youth, yet I see the loving grandmother I hope her to be one day. I see my loving mother’s eyes….and if I look deeply, I see my grandmother looking back at me from deep inside.
Because of my mother’s upbringing by my single parent grandmother, I’ve learned to be self-sufficient as a women. I learned not to rely on a man, but my own strength and faith in God. I’ve learned that everyone has insecurities but to be content in myself first and foremost. I’ve learned that love really does make the world go round. I learned that dedication to your family and hard work pay off.
Because of my father’s upbringing I’ve learned that even grown ups struggle. Even grown ups have been broken. Its the strongest ones who delve deeper into themselves and come out even more loving and compassionate, no matter how they were hurt. I’ve learned that only I can choose my future. I’ve learned that I control my destiny. Because of my father, I’ve learned resilience.
I only had the priveledge of having my grandmother until roughly the age of 11. I didn’t realize then the capacity for growth she should bestow on my life. Over a decade later, I remember her as if it were just yesterday. The texture of her lips when she kissed us good bye, the softness of her shoulders when she hugged us, even the smell her apartment had,;no matter where she lived- when I smell it now, it brings me into a tunnel of memory. As the memory of her face sometimes fades….I am jolted back to remebering when I meet someone who’s eye’s I can’t shake, or demenor reminds me of her. It is because of my grandmother that I learned utter joy and security. I know how feirce her love for me was.
I am inspired by my parents. I am inspired by the way they have clug together through 25 years of marriage. I am inspired by the mear fact that they both returned to college after having three kids and established careers. I am inspired by their work ethic, and their ability to love almost anyone unconditionally.
As I travel this twenty-something life, I am greatful for my upbringing. I am greatful for these people have shaped me. I am humbled by the voice in my head that still asks ‘will this make them proud’.
I was lucky enough to grow up with silbings…and while my brother is still young, I see the same yet completely different upbringing in him. At 16, he is a joy to spend time with. He is resilient, and soft-hearted (even if he’d hate me for saying that). My sister, I look at her and see the mother that my mom was. My sister mothers everyone she knows with her undying love, and ability not to judge. Utterly caring. I see the hardwork and passion for giving of my father.
As I continue you on my path, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect. To be greatful for the amazing family I do have. I miss them every. single. day. Could only dream for a day where we all live in the same city again.