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Life Lessons from My Mom



Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and mother figures in people's lives!


I realized that by the time I came back from my break from content creation (ironically, I was still creating, but things with more longevity), it would be Mother’s Day. I couldn't post just anything for a special day- It's too late for gift ideas so I brainstormed and thought what better way would there be to create something special than to write about my mom? While I don't have 2 parents due to my dad passing at a young age, I am fortunate enough to still have a parent who inspires me. I think sometimes it's so easy to forget to show how much a person means to you and I think one of the most thoughtful gifts is making them feel seen. I started reflecting on the most influential life lessons my mom instilled in me. Life Lessons come both from the said and unsaid. If you do not have a mother, I still hope there is someone in your life you can look towards to fulfill that role. If you lost them and miss them, I hope this post reminds you that even if there is grief, it is also a sign of them having a huge (hopefully good) impact on your life, and even having the chance to experience them long enough to miss them is fortunate.



1. Be Decisive and set your mind to things


One thing to know about my mother is she is a Capricorn. If you know anything about Astrology, she is a Cardinal Earth sign aka headstrong, driven, and about doing what she feels is right for her. To put it in simple terms, she hates being told what to do. In that way, I am my mother's daughter. While we express it differently, I think this played a major role in my view of life. My mom was never the type of parent who said "You need to get good grades and become a lawyer or doctor". In retrospect, I was probably a lot more stressed about my grades than she was even though I knew deep down I never wanted to be anything practical. From when I was younger, my dreams ranged from many ideas, all as unconventional as possible. Being a fashion designer, an author, to be a dancer, owning a cafe, or doing something cool like acting or modeling. To do any of those things is not a clear path and takes a lot of dedication, not only for developing certain skills but also for putting yourself out there regardless of the outcome. Even though I had big dreams with paths that may be more difficult for me as a more soft-spoken and timid person, my mom never steered me in the direction of doing practical things with clear steps. Instead, she said this to both me and my older brother frequently "You can do what you put your mind to". It's simple, a little cliche. When I was younger I used to hate that, but now I get it. I used to want her to tell me what to do, not because I didn't have any opinions but I think deep down I knew that if I went down a path that I wasn't happy with, it wouldn't fall completely on me. Maybe that's part of the reason people follow what their parents think is right, on some levels, they may feel afraid to disappoint them or want to avoid the confrontation. However, on some level maybe they don't trust themselves as much as they think.


Over some weeks in April, I had realizations about trust- you have to build it in yourself as much as you build it between you and another person. I didn't trust myself with choosing the direction of my life because, within the smaller aspects, it felt like I always chose wrong. Choosing friends that didn't last, choosing to like boys who didn't have interest in me or the ones whose own faded after they made me feel more, choosing dangerous responses so something could feel in my control [ couldn't control if someone talked about my body badly but I could control what I at, I couldn't control whether people had negative perceptions of black girls but I could control my actions to not be perceived that way, etc.]. Then I realized I rarely chose I was avoidant any chance I got to be.


I think part of me wanted someone else to push me in a direction because I didn't know how to trust myself to pick the right one. My mom, on the other hand, is a person who knows how to trust herself and constantly wants to instill that in her kids. To be decisive is the responsibility of self. Life is unpredictable and of course, you can have numerous people advise you, but they aren't you. There is only one person who is with you for the entirety of your life. I used to panic at the thought that in any situation, the only constant is me. Watching my mom stay level-headed regardless of what life throws at her is reassuring that someday I can face my problems and be confident enough to make choices even if they feel like hard ones.


2. Make the most of a situation


Gratitude is something I talk a lot about now that I understand it a lot better. However, when I think about my time in college learning about it in one of my minor courses, I realize I always had a great role model for it. She is someone who had her fair share of hardships- growing up with a grandparent, moving to a new country at a young age (16), and staying with a parent whom she wasn't used to, wanting to do what she could for her family back home and once life did get settled by finding her person, he was sick and left the world so soon. When I think about the progression of life from when she was young to when she had me, I always wonder 1) how did she handle all that? 2) Is she happy now?



Regardless of the hardships she decided to keep going, sometimes I worried that maybe she was settling for a life that she felt obligated to have. She reminds me (not always with her words) that when you feel at peace, it is satisfaction, not settling. Because she was decisive about the direction of her life, there wasn't regret. She went for what she wanted and even if the outcome wasn't what she expected on some levels she experienced pretty much everything she wanted to even if it didn't last as long as she would want it to. To her, the people in her life, even if it wasn't a lot, were always her biggest blessing because of the quality. Truthfully I think one of her best qualities is to express gratitude for the little things that often get overlooked in our society that wants us to believe we never have enough. She is so grateful to have a place to live, a place to go to be surrounded by people who share her beliefs, to appreciate her friends who are more like found family, and for her kids and grandkids (to clarify grandkids from my brother, NOT ME since I get asked a lot about children now that I am 22). Sometimes I don't feel like I am enough, but her words (even the playfully sassy and/or sarcastic ones) and actions, make me feel like I am more than capable of getting through whatever situation because there is something about me that even if I don't always see why, she tells me she is grateful I exist. And I am grateful to grow up with a parent like her.


3. Have a big heart


Stemming from the last lesson, even though she is someone who is not expressive of her feelings, She shows she cares in ways that go beyond words. She thinks about the people she loves often and makes it a point to check in on them (not in a nosy way, she intends to always make sure they are okay and if not, she tries to help if she can). She doesn't always know what to say to a person (she is not the best with words), but she knows how to listen and when they aren't there she still worries about them even if the things that they are going through has no effect on her. Worrying to a point of stress is not good but as someone who struggles with emotions, I admire how she cares and is not afraid to. Even if she has a bad experience with one or two people, she doesn't let it stop her from caring about people altogether. I feel like I grew up in a generation where if you get screwed over once or twice, you start to be like screw everyone. It is very easy for us to carry our bad experiences in us, to the point it ruins potential good ones. I know looking for the potential in people is a slippery slope because sometimes people view it through rose-colored glasses. However, if you are taking what you learn in stride ( knowing what goes against your values and the way you want to be treated) and using it for your boundaries, it is much easier to know if that person is right for your current season of life. In terms of my mom, she proves how capable it is to learn from hurt and to do it without it guiding who she is as a person. We don't need to stop caring about people in general, just specific ones. The ones who prove to not be worth your time and energy. Yes be careful, but there is a difference between being mindful versus being fearful. I don't think any one person is all good or all bad because humans are gray and contracting. We could be great in some ways and terrible in others and due to our millions of perceptions - our shades vary based on who we ask.



4. Growth can happen at any age


Because humans are gray, I do think when people do intend to be better is important, but the final lesson from her I want to share is about growth. For the 22 years I've existed, I paid attention more than she knows I suppose. She was always a caring person, not all people but family. I believe she was very traditional in that sense but especially in more recent years she learned to care about herself too. Making more effort to focus on her health, treating herself when she wants, and letting go of things. Even though I am a personal development/wellness girl, I noticed that sometimes we try to force our growth. We make development this fast-paced competition for status and vanity at times. I am not saying don't work for what you want but to enjoy the process and be patient with it. Growth will happen regardless as long as you are taking action, so be patient waiting for things to unfold. Observing my mom's growth as a person makes me recognize the importance of patience and how growth happens in ways that aren't always obvious so we can flow with life instead of wearing ourselves thin.


Truthfully I was nervous to show her this, but I wanted her consent before posting and her reaction was tears of joy. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this inspires you as much as she inspires me. She shows me the beauty in imperfection, the importance of gratitude and to always make time to laugh.


If you like my content it would mean the world to me if you would also subscribe to my YouTube channel, my Pinterest, and my TikTok account. On YouTube, I have the most inspirational content from Lifestyle Design posts to Digital "open when..." letters to boost your moods. I also keep a copy of my podcast episodes (which is also available on Spotify). I decided that I am honoring what feels right to me and continuously working on building the life of my dreams and helping others do the same. Don’t forget to share this if you feel inspired and I will have more content for you soon.


Until next time butterflies 🦋


Xoxo,

Lay 💋


 

New Lifestyle Shop


PS- Something new is happening this year. I created a digital shop after lots of conversation and if you would like to check it out here are some of the products below:







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