So I love Humans of New York. Somebody started a “Students of ISU” page a few months back and there’s been nothing since before Thanksgiving break which I find saddening, but then again I wouldn’t want to have that responsibility to distract me during Yule(go crazy ’cause you have a million things to do)tide.
Anyway, I love Humans of New York and I ran across this particularly touching post today. Here’s a link to said post: https://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork/photos/a.102107073196735.4429.102099916530784/830920330315402/?type=1&theater. This is also an easy way to understand the point of HONY if you’re uninitiated: people on the street with stories, and Brandon Stanton with a camera.
Here’s the text.
“I always remember my mom having this hardness to her. Even if you were at the other end of the house, you could feel her presence. Not like a monster, but kinda. She needed everything to be just a certain way. She’d arrange the towels perfectly and didn’t want anyone messing them up. She’d keep these detailed notes on money, and daily activities, and even her bowel movements. It was a diary of her anxieties. She always needed everything to be just a certain way, and she always had such a hard tone to her voice. But I loved her. I remember walking into her room shortly before she died. She was curled up in bed because she had very bad scoliosis, and she looked so small and vulnerable. And next to her on the nightstand was a picture of her as a little girl, standing with her mother. And it made me sad, because I knew that little girl had never wanted to grow up to be a ball of anxiety.”
Someone in the comments: “‘But I loved her'”
This feels like ow because I am afraid of a very similar future.
It feels like further ow because I am afraid it is beginning already.
I am terrified of developing that hard edge to my voice; I am terrified of being the kind of mother who does not allow my children to mess anything up; I am terrified that I will grow up to be a harsh bitch whose children will, with the same sense of humor with which I raze my parents’ egos now, they tell me in what ways I messed their childhoods up.
I am realizing that I do not want to become my mother, or perhaps more accurately, I do not want to become those aspects of my mother which she became of her father.
And yet I love my mother, and I love her father and so does she, and so do lots of other people. And, incredible though I may find it, lots of people love me.
I just don’t want it to be difficult. I don’t think I want to be the person you love in spite of her prickliness. I’d rather not be prickly.
And I don’t want to be my father either – I don’t want to hate my job most of my life and never do a thing about it.
There’s a line in a book I loved in high school which goes, “You are what you are, and not what you’d like to be.”
I reject that. I do not intend to let my life become crappy simply because I was born to my particular parents. Also, I should probably think of my parents’ good qualities a bit more.
Well, another crisis solved.