As I get older I introspect more and more to discover more about who I am. I think growing up we often try to mimic/mirror our role models. Usually those are our parents – more specifically when it comes down to morality – most of the time it leans heavily towards the parent who matches the gender we identify with.
For me, that was my mother. As a child, every time I came across a fork in the road I would always mimic what my mother would do. Of course my upbringing, morals, and values were the main guiding factors since our parent’s upbringing shapes the course of our actions. But as I encountered LIFE and all it’s good and bad shades, creating understandings of my own, my reactions to situations started changing.
The truth is, my mother and I are NOTHING alike, so how could I possibly mirror her? She’s mellow, I’m loud. She’s calm, I’m fiery. I’m highly “GO GO GO”, she likes to take her time. Her opinions are influenced by stronger personalities… I’m heavily self-opinionated and difficult to budge. She didn’t have to deal with an identity crisis, I did. She spent her whole life safe, secure, supported, I spent most of mine stranded, alone, figuring things out – swimming against the tide, not following the norm. So many examples not listed, but the point being – given who we are and our life experiences being so different… how then could I ever be at peace living life based on what my mother would do?
This thought started gnawing at me a few years ago when I realized my decisions started diverging from those of what she’d do. I started experiencing immense guilt every time I did something I deemed different from how she would do it. I started feeling shame for things that fell outside of her moral boundaries and understanding even if they were not necessarily wrong for me to do for who I am as a person.
Was I conditioned by the society I was brought up in to think that my core personality was not what it was looking for in a female? But why not? On one hand my kind was “not preferable” and “destructive” but on the other hand my kind was “exciting”, “sought after” and “strong”. What kind of confusing message was that? Why couldn’t I just be me?
Only recently, as I introspect more and more, have I started discovering who I am at my core, primitive self. Why my decisions are justified for me. How my core personality and life experiences won’t allow for her ‘appropriate for her’ mellow, quiet approach to life when I have a passionate wildfire raging through me.
She’s a wonderful person with her pluses, and despite her minuses. But so am I. She fits a norm, but that doesn’t make me wrong. Being her daughter shouldn’t mean I have to be exactly like her. It means that I need to take my core personality, combine it with the elements of my upbringing that I agree with and create the person I am actually supposed to be. Being the personality that is right for me.