Some women were born to be moms. Like, it’s in their DNA to just be amazing, selfless beings. I normally get weepy when I talk about MY mom, because she’s pretty much the center of my universe. I mean, I wouldn’t be a functioning adult if it weren’t for her.
Being anxious and putting pressure on myself to succeed is apart of my DNA. My parents were NOT the type who pushed me to be the best/fastest/smartest kid on the block. They knew I did that for myself The one thing they were strict about was making sure my brother and I were kind and considerate. They wanted us to do well, but being a good person trumped A’s and blue ribbons.
I remember that in grade school, running the mile in PE class was the most stressful event of the year for me. I’m a bad runner, I have always hated running, and I hated the mile because it showcased the fact that I wasn’t perfect.
Not surprisingly, the week of THE MILE, I would cry every day, begging and pleading with mom to let me skip school the day of the mile.
Kate would’t budge. I’m sure it would have been so much easier to let me stay home and not participate. To give in and give me what I wanted so I would just shut up.
But she didn’t. She’s one tough cookie [can't you tell?]
One year, after days of crying and having child-anxiety attacks, my mom said to me: Colleen, how do you think A. feels this week?
A. was a shy girl in my class who was overweight.
Do you think it’s going to be easy and fun for her to run the mile? Stop being so concerned about yourself and think of someone else. Stop wallowing and put your energy towards making someone else’s day better.
And that’s what I did.
The morning of the mile, as the class headed out to the track, I found A; and I asked her if she’d like to run together. I’ll never forget her smile as she accepted. We jogged and walked and jogged and walked and we both hated every minute of it. And when we were finishing the final strides of our last lap, I let A finish in front of me.
I was the last one to finish the mile.
Seeing A being proud of herself, confident about finishing, and not finishing alone made me forget how scared I had been.
That night at dinner my mom asked about THE MILE, and I told her what I had done. My mom smiled and said, Now just think about how A feels tonight as she tells her Mom that she wasn’t the last one to finish.
That’s a perfect example of how my mom molded me into the person I am today. She’s taught me how lift others up, to examine what’s important and what’s not, and how to make people feel good about themselves.
She’s never cared if I was perfect, and even when I come in last, I know my mom will be proud of me and have my back. People routinely ask me where my confidence comes from. And the answer is simple: it comes from my mom.
Do I still get stressed over stupid things? Uh, absolutely. But my go-to remedy for stressful energy is molding it into confidence by doing good for someone else. Rather than telling me, my mom helped me experience [on a million occasions] that you can be the fastest or the smartest or the best, but if you’re not the kindest, none of it really even matters.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.
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