There was a time I was going through a crisis, because I felt I was wasting my short life doing nothing. I condemned the dreary hours of endless school where I sat in classes I didn't care about, getting things that didn't matter to me crammed down my throat, and then testing my ability to suck up by asking me questions that didn't represent the entire material. They were tests on test taking ability rather than on what I'd learned and remembered. And then I'd be released from those grey halls and tight classrooms, into the world with the environment in mind. But I wasn't allowed to be one with nature. My school obligations would strip me from my passions and send me home for homework because that was the right thing to do. It was the right path to suck up to teachers to pass classes to get into collages to get good jobs to earn money for dreams I'd never have time for. I realized I hated this life, and I was searching for all the goodness I could pack in on the side. I became rushed and busy, always on the move for something just around the corner to happiness.
This became my common way to approach time: squeeze in all the things that make my life worthwhile, around my dammed obligations. I cut out all the slow things in my life. I avoided long conversations with my family, and meditations to interpret my current state, because it wan't the small things that would save the world.
There became a right way to spend my time. If every moment wasn't action packed, I wasn't working hard enough. I looked around me and saw my peers doing the same thing, working towards their dreams, or following the paved path to get to their dreams. I saw parents always working and everyone constantly busy. It was my accepted normal. Busying the self was the way to get to a dream.
Then I looked into my family. I saw my mom. Slow and loving, and I felt anger towards her. She had so many dreams, and she put them aside to raise my family. She solely took my mentally different sister under her wing, and nurtured her with guided love even though it ate at her patience. She was inspiration to my other sister despite how it ate her away inside to see her so manipulative, and she let herself be manipulated because she loved my sister so much. She was my therapist skillfully deflecting my knife throwing, and she was always there for my dad, because he believed in her when she was temperarily blinded.
I became temporarily blinded. I saw what she sometimes saw. I didn't admire her ability to be so selfless. I hated the fact she was slowly fading, because in my mind she was the superhero of love, and she wasn't getting the self appriciation and challenge she needed. I heard her talk so passionately about the jobs she wanted to do, the projects she wanted to be embarking on. I wanted to see the proud glow alite in her eyes as she followed her dreams. She would put down all efforts to get to her dream to solve some obnoxious scuttle between my two sibling demons. I was convinced she was giving up her dream to her family.
I handled it the way I had trained myself to: pack in the things that I loved around the edges. I told her to cut out the B.S. and take time for herself to get her work done uninterrupted. I told her to put her dreams first.
But I didn't realize was telling her to turn her back on her true dream. I didn't realize I was telling her the very words that would make my mother cry. Her family was her dream. I didn't realize how huge this was, until I broke her heart. I told her she wasn't doing anything with her life. I've never seen a mother so passionately defensive, and I stepped back to look at where I'd read the wrong signs. I'd given her my advice, to follow my type of dream, but looking at my mother, she wasn't me. She'd given everything to my sisters and me because she loved us more than writing grants to schools she felt deserved it. Her password to her phone was my birthday. She carved out names into wet cement next to hers even when we weren't there. She always forgave us, regardless of if we had proved ourselves worthy because she loved even our imperfections in a way no one else did.
And I began an inner hatred to myself. For turning my back to someone who gave me her everything. I had always taken our family for granted, but her sweat and blood went into every aspect of what I considered normal. She created and guided my hand so selflessly I'd always assumed it was me. She'd love to watch as my pride grew and I had faith I could fly.
I can see her now, Outside in a sunny garden, and it isn't the completion of the project she is pursuing like it looks like from the outside. She is spending quality time with my family, pulling them from their consuming lives to step back and breathe. They would never know or thank her.
I can see now why is hurt her so much when I told her she wasn't doing anything with her life. Everyone sees love this way. In our society we are told to put our passions after our obligations. We pursue success, but not love.
My mother is exceptional because she never let her heart budge. I thought family was an obligation for her, and her dreams of work was her desired goal, but I was mistaken. I can now respect that she never let her dream go, and she is one of the rare people who have been holding it for nearly twenty years now.
Mom, I am sorry I lashed out at you for not following my dreams. I soppose I am envious of how you reached out and created what you wanted, and I haven't gotten there yet. I take back what I say about you wasting your life. You created a life of love, and I think that should be respected more of all. You know how to pull people from their busy lives to stop and smell the roses, and you know how to bring out the best in the most complex and guarded and defensive people. I know how tricky our family is, and once again, you are a love hero. You're heart flies as your flag, but only those who are looking can see it. I can see it now. Success isn't what I thought it was. Thank you for guiding me to realization.