May 10th, 2015
I was on the news this week, an interview that lasted all of 7 seconds. I watched it with my own kids piled around me, watching for their mom’s moment on the screen. And suddenly there I was, pink shirt and straightened hair, talking about education and changing the way we do things.
I watched and I saw myself.
I watched and I saw my mother.
My mother is a thinker, someone with ideas and passion and lots to say about the things that matter to her – that matter to me too. She thinks and talks and her eyes close as she processes the next best word to use, the most precise way to make her point.
I’ve always noticed she does this.
I’ve never noticed that I do too.
Lately I can see the truth in the statement, “I’m becoming my mother.” I’ve always heard people say this as a negative, in the ugh can you believe this is happening to me kind of way.
But if I’m becoming my mother, I certainly won’t complain.
Last year I took a strengths test as a part of a special program at work. We took a 30 minute online questionnaire and it spat back out my top five strengths.
As I read the descriptions of who this test thought I was, I couldn’t help but marvel at how exactly right it was. And I also immediately wondered what it would say about my mother since I had the immediate realization that many of these strengths, the best parts of me, also described her.
She took the test too. And, sure enough, 4 out of 5 of our strengths are the same.
We are thinkers.
We are diligent.
We are learners.
We are keepers of information (I’m also a keeper of stuff and my mother is most certainly not).
My mother is also a developer – someone who gets satisfaction from the growth of others. And while this is her strength that she says most surprised her, it is not surprising to me.
These days, I take risks and push myself, stand confidently in places that used to terrify me and I know that, while yes I’ve worked hard to earn those things, it’s all of my mother’s careful work of developing me into a strong and confident woman who knew the power of words and ideas and careful diligence that propels me forward, that keeps me developing into a better and stronger version of myself.
I watched myself close my eyes as I spoke on television and I thought, maybe that means I’m becoming my mother.
And for that I am grateful.