This I Believe

Kristin - Austin, Texas
Entered on May 2, 2007

One day an individual will realize what is significant and the choices they regret. Life is about learning from one’s mistakes. I have learned through hard times that love means acceptance. I believe in the unconditional love between a mother and a daughter.

I was raised in a happy home, but little did I know it would be interrupted by my sixteenth birthday, because then I became my mother’s party ticket. My mother started to go out with my friends and me to parties and would partake in adolescent activities. This was a shock because I am the child. I started to feel like my popularity was stemmed from the fact that my friends could use my mother as a ticket away from their parents’ supervision. For a while I was okay with my mother being my friend because I saw it as an opportunity to do whatever I wanted, which is a shame because I was using my mother.

I realized that this mother-daughter relationship was unhealthy, on New Year’s Eve 2005. My night became disappointing after midnight when I had to beg my mother to take me home, but she refused. Her reply was, “I am having too much fun with my friends,” as she put me to sleep in a friend’s room. I woke up a few hours later to find my mother still drinking and “partying,” so I called a friend to take me home. The next morning I woke up and wondered what time my mother had poured herself into bed, why she came into my circle of friends, and how her lifestyle would affect my family. I went to bed on December 31, 2005 as a daughter, and awoke January 1, 2006 having to act like a mother to my own. This cycle continued for a few more months until I gathered up the courage to confront her about my feelings. She was hurt that I did not feel like we could be “friends,” and I tried to tell her all I wanted was her to act like a mother. Our conversation gave little change to her actions, but much change in my attitude. I knew I could not change her, but instead I needed to focus on improving our relationship. I do not condone her lifestyle. But, she is my other and I love her unconditionally. I have learned to pick my battles and to not sweat the small stuff.

It is not anyone’s job to make everyone happy; you can not make others happy unless you are happy within yourself. To love someone is to accept them, which is the bond of unconditional love. How a person deals with set-backs or unhappiness will shape their character, and learning to deal with these negatives by applying positive outlooks will create a happier individual. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”