My Role Model Hasn’t Been Born Yet

Marilyn Monroe. Grace Kelly. Audrey Hepburn. Meryl Streep.

These are a few of the women I admire, but I’ve never really had a role model. I’m at that age when I’ve started thinking about having kids, and what kind of mother I want to be.

I came to the realization that I want to be the kind of woman I want my daughter to become when she grows up.

So my role model hasn’t been born yet.

I want my daughter to be the kind of girl who’s full of life growing up.  I want her to be passionate and I want her to have passions.  Being my daughter, she’ll probably be a little a stubborn. She’ll want too many things at once, and sometimes, she’ll overwhelm herself.

She’ll understand that I have expectations of her but she’ll draw her own path regardless.

She’ll know that it’s OK for her to make mistakes, as long as she learns her lesson. Sometimes, the lesson won’t take the first time, and maybe, she’ll make similar mistakes. She won’t be embarrassed about them.

I want my daughter to be the kind of woman full of love in her heart, which means that she’ll be heartbroken.  She’ll pick the wrong friends, and of course, the wrong boys (maybe the wrong girls). She’ll embrace the pain but she won’t be jaded by it like I was. She’ll continue to give to others around her, but she’ll also be a little selfish when she needs to be.

She’ll take care of herself and her body. Sure, she’ll like junk food, and she’ll sometimes drink too much. At times, she’ll compare herself to others and get stuck in that destructive rut.

But she’ll have friends who love her who’ll talk her out of that rut. Through all the bullshit, she’ll surround herself with people who love her unconditionally and want the best for her, no matter the distance. Her mind will be just as accepting as her soul is.

She’ll be patient (sometimes). Maybe she’ll be frustrated with me, but growing up, she’ll understand that all I wanted in the world was her happiness. If she sees me making a mistake, she won’t bite her tongue. She’ll point it out and talk to me about it.

She won’t bottle things up. She’ll find an outlet, even if she can’t confront the situation right away.

She’ll love to laugh and she’ll have the most beautiful laugh. Maybe she’ll snort like her mama. She’ll have eclectic tastes and won’t fit into one box. She’ll be a little bit of nerd, a little bit of a smart-ass, and a little bit of a geek. She’ll love to read as much as I do (There’s no way I’m budging on that one.)

She’ll write. Or maybe she won’t. She might get my dad’s artistic skills (hopefully it skips a generation). Whatever it is she loves to do, she will follow her heart.

If she stumbles, she’ll pick up the pieces and move forward.

No matter what, she will always be true to herself. 

I want to be the kind of woman that my daughter will be proud to call her Mom.

So I guess I should keep working on that.


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[Family] Land of No Secrets

It was completely unplanned.  She asked me if I had anyone in my life and a smile took over my face. I couldn’t stop. So I said yes.

It began with me telling her I was just seeing someone.

For over a year.

Oh, and my dad & bro have met him.

In between these little factoids, we went on tangents.

About my feelings, about our relationship and how much I wish it was better.

It just kept unfolding. Words kept flowing and eventually, I told her that I was engaged.

Oh and that we’ve been living together for a year.

I couldn’t stop gushing, and at the same time, I was so worried about her reaction. The reason we hadn’t told her was because we didn’t know how she would react.

I don’t know how I would’ve reacted 6 months ago,” she told me the next day.

I didn’t plan to have this heart-to-heart with my Mom. The truth is, it’s been hard not being able to share my happiness with her. It’s been hard keeping secrets, and not being able to call her whenever I had something share.

The conversation got awkward at times. We’ve never been that close. My mom doesn’t really know me, hasn’t known anything about my life for the past 6 years.

The secrecy wasn’t because I wanted to keep her out. It was so I could find myself. I needed to make my own mistakes, find my own footing, and embrace my own feelings.

I know I’ve broken her heart at times when I lashed out. I lashed out because she had no idea what I was going through, and she may have thought I was being overdramatic when I got frustrated over work. In reality, I was probably frustrated over work, a broken heart & hurtful friends all at the same time on that day.

She didn’t know.

Saturday, as we sat in the living room of their new house, something was in the air. It was as if everything that I’ve been holding in my heart got released and was hanging above us, waiting for her to absorb it.

And she did.

I gushed over my life. I gushed over the man who would become her son-in-law.

I told her about how he makes me laugh when I need it the most.

I told her about the way he took care of me when I was sick.

I told her about how much I love him.

I showed her pictures of us, even the silly ones.

I just kept talking about him. I couldn’t stop.

When my dad came home from work, and she said “I guess our daughter is getting married,” he told her that Andrew was made for me.

This is a new chapter in our lives, as Mother & Daughter and as a family.

I think we’re all in shock.

Every time I talk to her, I’m afraid the magic will disappear.

There will still be times she frustrates me. She will say things, like all mothers do, that will make me want to hang up the phone. She’ll make me feel defensive. We’ll probably have a fight or two [or10].

I welcome those moments. I welcome them, because at the end of the day, we’re growing closer. I welcome them because we are now in a land of no secrets.

I welcome them because they’ll be far and few in between the conversations about how much men are alike and they never grow up.

I didn’t plan it but I think this may have been the best Mother’s Day present I could’ve ever given my mom.




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Re-defining ‘Home’

Source: Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr

Over the last few months, the fact that I don’t have a ‘childhood home’ to go back to has been hitting me hard.

When Andrew & I began dating, and I went to his parents’ house for the first time, I stepped into the time-warp that was his bedroom.  He had grown up in that house, and could tell me stories from when he was little.  Maybe it’s because I live 3000 miles away from the apartment where I grew up but it made me even more homesick.

Over the last 2 years, I’ve been doing my best to make D.C. feel more like home than it has.

Funny thing about living in an area for 15 years is that there are days the memories around every corner begin to overwhelm you and make you want to run. The next thing you know, you’re walking past a building that used to make your heart stop without even acknowledging it. You feel a familiar twinge subconsciously but not enough to make you stop and re-live any memories.

Because you’re only passing it on your way to your new apartment where your fiance is waiting for you.

I’ve lived in the area long enough to celebrate my birthday at the same restaurant 4 years in a row because I was a lunch regular; long enough to memorize the street cleaning schedule and know when it changed; long enough to spend 6 years commuting from VA every day; long enough to pinpoint my comfort zones; long enough to know where to go for avoiding familiar faces; long enough to call it home.

There are memories that hit me every time I stepped foot outside my door.

Memories that would catch me off-guard if I wasn’t paying attention.

Memories that drowned me in tears.

Memories that made me avoid certain parts of town.

These days?

Those memories have been pushed to the past where they belong, by the new memories I’ve made by moving forward.

I learned that the best way to move on isn’t to run away from the memories. They’ll still be there waiting for you when you get back.  The best way to move on is to continue living and making new memories.

Now when I run into familiar faces, they can tell, without even speaking a word, that I’m not that same girl.

They may see me in a familiar place from a dark period in my life but know that I am just passing by.

I may not have a physical home that holds my life between its walls. When I have a child, I won’t be able to take them to the house I grew up in – but I’m learning to be OK with that.

Home is where the heart is, and a piece of my heart will always be in D.C.

*This is my 500th post on this website. Thanks to all of you who have been reading, whether it’s been a day or 2 years. Much love to you all.*