Monday, May 23, 2011

When I grow up, I want to be just like...

There's an old cliché that all women eventually turn into their mothers. For those whose mothers are awesome, this may not be such a big deal and may even be something to aspire to. For those of us whose mothers are less than inspiring, it is something which we dread and want to avoid at all costs.

I do not want to become my mother. There are definitely some similarities between us (as is only natural, given that I spent the first 25 years of my life living with her and have half her DNA) and not all of them are ones I'd like. For instance, I'm bad-tempered and proud. These are the main two characteristics which make her unpleasant, and could potentially make me a lot more unpleasant than I already am. But I do have certain abilities which will keep me from ever becoming like her:

1) I'm aware of how bad-tempered I am. This means that, under most circumstances, I'm able to either prevent an outburst or I'm able to warn people that one is on its way. Of course, this system does fail occasionally, and this is where my other advantage comes in:

2) I'm able to let go of my pride and admit I was wrong. If I do have an outburst, I'm well aware that I'm behaving inappropriately. As soon as I'm calm enough to speak normally, I apologise for it and explain why it happened. I do this not to excuse the behaviour, but for two other very important reasons: 

1) To let the person know that I recognise that it came from me and isn't their fault
2) Because saying it out loud helps me to internalise what happened and why it happened, and helps me in the learning process of preventing it from happening again.

I guess all this can be summed up by me saying that I'm self-aware, and my mother isn't. Because of this, I will never become my mother.

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