Mom, You Are My Happy Place

Mom, You Are My Happy Place

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.
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I've read articles written about moms from their daughters over the past few years and I've never related to them —at least not by much. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that this was happening because the relationship between my Mom and me is unique — different from any other I've ever seen or heard of.

Here is everything I've ever wanted to say to my cat-obsessed, coffee-loving, one-of-a-kind, beautiful Mom.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being the strongest woman I've ever known. You've withstood more hurt in your life than I would ever wish upon my worst. These last two years have been so difficult, exhausting, and grueling —yet here you are, being the most beautiful version of yourself.

And I am so proud of you. I will fight to the end to show this world who you are — the wonderful, sassy, courageous woman you are. The kind of woman and mom I hope to God I can be even half of one day.

Thank you for being my biggest supporter. I've never seen a more avid soccer mom — seriously. The love you have for the sport alone is enough to show. But trying your best to be there for every match, and being heartbroken when you couldn't, means more to me than you know. Knowing my biggest fan was right there supporting me was all I needed.

And being there when I chose a brand new sport, regardless of the cost, warms my heart. Choosing to swim was one of the best choices I've made thus far in life, and I wouldn't have done it without your help. You sat through the long meets, knowing little to nothing about the sport itself, just proud of that little girl in the pool.

Thank you for loving me. I know this one is semi-obvious, but I am more than serious. You stood right by me, holding my hand, when I went through the worst year of my life. You were there to spoon-feed me when I was diagnosed with Cibophobia. You were there through the hundreds of break downs, the frustrating days when I was eating little to no food. You were there for all the therapy appointments, all the days it took me several minutes to swallow a small pill, all the days when I was so lost. You remained calm. You saved me. You loved me regardless.

Thank you for our jokes. When I'm with you, there's a smile on my face, a loud and embarrassing laugh about to break through, and an incredibly warm heart. You bring me so much joy with just your presence alone. I know you can never stay mad at me for long, and although it's rare that you are, I love that I can make you smile and forget all about it. And I love that you can do the same even more.

Thank you for being so beautiful. I get compliments all the time about how much I look like you and there seriously isn't a greater compliment I could receive. When you smile and laugh, you glow. Your olive green eyes that you gave to me light up when I surprise you by coming home without telling. So many features I got from you and I couldn't be happier to be anyone else's look-a-like. You have such a beautiful, courageous heart and that's my favorite part of you.

Thank you for always believing in me. I don't believe in myself often until I hear from you. Your texts throughout the day, the calls I receive, the FaceTime dates we have.... I use these simple gestures as motivation to believe in myself. Because I know you believe in me. There's nothing in this world that would hurt more than disappointing you — and I thank you for instilling that belief in me.

You give me something to fight for. You taught us from a young age that we can do anything we fight hard for, and although the time went too fast, here I am, doing what you taught me to.

You deserve the world and I tell you that often in hopes you'll finally believe it. You are worth more than gold.

You deserve the happiness you are receiving — every bit of it.

Mom, you are my happy place.

Sitting with you in the big maroon chair back at home is my happy place.

Cuddles with you on Sunday morning is my happy place.

Breakfast on the lawn with you is my happy place.

Being wrapped in a big hug from you is my happy place.

This life is my happy place.

Because of you.

"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." — Ariana Dance

Cover Image Credit: Tami Auen

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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My Mom Is My Biggest Weakness In The Best Way Possible

Although my mom is still my parent, she's also a friend.

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My parents are everything to me. They raised me to be independent, strong, smart, and hard working. They made sure to keep me in line, to ensure that I would be respectful and responsible. They raised me to be prepared for the world before I graduated high school. For everything they've done, I'm very grateful.

Focusing on my mom more specifically, she is my weakness. By that I mean, I can go to her with anything and I know she's willing to listen, to be open, and she won't impart judgment.

My mom always knows how to calm me down, but she is the one person who can also make me cry harder. I don't mean this in a bad way. It's just that whenever I've had a tough day or my anxiety has been heightened by some ordeal, I know that if I see my mom or if I even call her over the phone, the waterworks come flooding. I don't know what it is about my mom that makes me feel so emotional, so vulnerable. Each time I go to her, it's almost as if I'm a kid again, crawling into her mother's arms, seeking a nurturing soul to tell me that everything will be okay.

Sometimes I even avoid calling my mom when I'm in a rut because I refuse to cry or feel weak. For instance, if I had a problem, I'd avoid talking to her about it. If a week goes by, I'll update her on my problems, and begin crying about it (even though I was already over it beforehand). My mom can bring out anything from me. She laughs when I tell her this because she knows that no matter how old her baby girl gets, she'll always need her mama.

I think as I've gotten older, I've realized how much more my parents mean to me. As a kid, I always felt like they were against me. I felt as if they didn't want me to do anything and didn't want me to grow. As an adult, I realize it's the exact opposite. My parents have always wanted what's best for me, and because I've grown to understand this, I feel so much closer to them.

I feel as though now, although my mom is still my parent, she's also a friend. She's someone I can go to when I feel down, someone I can go to for a good laugh. She's so much better than me in so many ways. She's outgoing, loud, obnoxious, smart, and is always seeing the good in situations. When I talk about my mom to other people, they're always so interested in meeting with her or talking with her. When they finally get the chance to, they're instantly drawn to her character. They're drawn to her laughter. I kid you not, my mom can light up a room in seconds. She is always the life of the party. It sometimes makes me jealous when people find out how amazing my mother is because I swear they'd rather be friends with her than me.

What people don't see is her struggles. They don't see the pain she goes through with her ongoing injury. They don't see that not only does it take a physical toll, but also an emotional toll. She hides it really well because that's what parents are "supposed to do." My mom is the strongest person I know and to see the two contrasts of her is astonishing. To think that someone so full of life can also battle personal struggles, it's hard to see, especially because she's my mom and all I want is the best for her. One part of my mom struggles while the other part of her is so vibrant, so full of life, so sassy.

I don't know how she's put up with all of the hardships in her life. I've never seen someone work so hard and refuse to fail. She refuses to be taken advantage of. I've never seen someone as amazing as my mother. She can do anything.

I think my mom looks down on herself sometimes. I think, like any woman, she sees imperfections. What I don't think she sees, that I wish she would, is the tenacity she has. I want her to see herself the way I do: beautiful, strong, courageous, sassy, outgoing. I could go on and on about how much my mom inspires me and how she's made me appreciate her in more ways than one.

Mom, thank you for all that you do and all that you are. I hope you know how much Rachel, Vanessa and I all love you. I hope you know that no matter what struggles we go through, you are our rock. You hold the fort down and you're always there to make sure we're good, even when you aren't yourself. Thank you for always thinking of us, for believing in us, and for never turning your back. I love you more than you know.

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