My mother has done me a disservice. It’s true. Those of you who know her may think she’s an intelligent, determined, and caring woman, but you have been deceived! It’s taken me almost 30 years to realize that there’s something so integral and necessary in the human experience, something so innate that it’s taken me this long to pinpoint why I can never truly relate to most other people. And this quality, this way of seeing the world is something my Mother should have let me in on…but she never did. Because of this, my life has been full of choices that others don’t make, chances that others don’t take, and a decided lack of fear that I should have had.
My mother never taught me that I CAN’T.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; how can this be? An adult who hasn’t been taught that she can’t do the things she wants to do? How can a parent not limit the experience of their own child, teach him or her that there is only one route to success/happiness/impact on the world…how could anyone be so remiss as to forget the fundamental teaching that whatever you try, whatever thought you have, whatever you dream of doing…probably won’t work? Well, all I can tell you is this: I have had councillors, friends, bosses, teachers, even a husband who all told me I couldn’t do what I set out to do, and the message has still not sunk in. Thanks a lot, Mom!
No really Mom, thank you. I have never been able to think of a good reason why I can’t do things, and neither have you. You never ranked us; the four of us were all unique, all special and amazing. We had different personalities, yes…but those personalities never limited our choices the way it did in my friend’s families. You encouraged us to reach as high as we could, then reach higher. You and Dad put us in French Immersion to expand our brains, then sent me on a school trip to France even though you didn’t know where the money would come from. You read to us, and made us excited about the magical world we were about to enter. You talked with us, and asked our opinions. I always knew it was important to you to hear what I had to say. You made me think about stuff differently…and in my teenage years that made me different than all of my friends.
Today, I’m still strangely surprised when someone tells me I can’t do something. It makes me wonder if that’s how they talk to themselves. And I’m sure it is. We make things so big in our heads…I don’t understand it. Everything that we think is the right way to do things now was NOT the right way to do things 100 hundred years ago…and it won’t be the right way to do things 100 years from now. Humans are fickle, and constantly changing. In light of this, I see absolutely no reason to do things the way the people around me say they should be done. Start a business without ever having taken a business course? Done. Be single again at 30 and living at home? Done. Start a non-profit? In the works! Move to another country where I don’t know a soul? Someday! Why should any of this be scary? If God is for me, who then can be against me? You have one life, and it’s over too soon. You really want to spend it hiding under the bed and wishing for things to come to you that you could go out and get yourself? Ok, if that’s your preference, have a nice nap. But don’t tell me why I can’t strike out and do something. I already stopped listening to you, anyway.