Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How to Grow Up

For years I have reflected on not feeling like an adult, mulling over theories as to why that was. Sheltered upbringing, shy disposition, internalized negative views about myself.  Now that I am in my late (argh!) 30s, I know what I need to do to shake this nonesense once and for all.  Basically, I cannot care what others - my mother in particular - think of me.  I cannot go through life trying to please someone else.

It doesn't matter if my mom approves of what I eat, how I raise my daughter, or who my friends are.  It doesn't matter what she thinks about my decisions or preferences.  She has her own opinion, but I have mine, which is equally valid.  I am not her.  If she takes it personally that I make different decisions from ones she would make, that is frankly not my problem.

Of course I hate to see my mom upset or disappointed, but I cannot keep thinking that these reactions can in any way be mitigated by me.  I do not control her - and she does not control me.  I say this, I believe it, now I wonder how long it will take before I internalize it and start living as though I'm my own person, regardless if I have my mom's approval or not.  Her approval doesn't make my decisions ok.  My decisions need to be ok on their own.  Only I am responsible for my decisions, whether she likes them or not.

It's going to be hard to try to overhaul 30+ years of trying to please my mom though. Still, it's the only way to go forward.

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