I recently read a question that piqued my interest--Would you prefer to know how to love, or know what it feels like to be loved? It's an interesting thought, isn't it? Especially when you take a moment to wonder if you could ever really know how to love if you've never felt what it's like to be loved?
Something I've heard from guys in my past was, "I've never met someone who's cared about me as much as you do." And that's such a sad thing to hear, but unfortunately, that can be the case sometimes.
Not everybody grows up feeling the love that you hear about in stories or see in the movies, or the love that you may have been lucky to receive yourself.
So when those who are strangers to such affection and care are met with genuine and sincere love later on in life, it's almost like they don't know how to accept it.
You'll never know how broken someone is until you try to love them.
I may have had my struggles with self worth, and loving myself may not be as easy as I'd hope, but there has always been one constant figure of love in my life since the moment I took my first breath, and that's my mother.
Don't get me wrong, my mom and I have had our ups and downs (mostly in my teen years), and there were moments when I didn't want to even look in her direction, but now, as an adult, I am able to see all of the beautiful things she added to my life, and recognize that I wouldn't be half of the woman I am without her.
A lot of my great qualities come from my mom--my loyalty to anything I become associated with, my sense of humor, my cheesy charm, my respected work ethic and determination, and, most importantly, my ability to love.
I'm able to care for others so deeply because I was fortunate enough to be cared for with such intensity from my mother throughout my entire life.
The little notes in my lunches every day at school to notes before heading off to class in the morning to mailing me cards at my apartment. The random text messages just to say "I love you," and now, the thing that I cherish and appreciate more than anything else--her belief in me and everything I do.
Some of my friends always tell me I'm fearless. Well, it's easy to be fearless when I know someone will always have my back no matter what the outcome.
I think back to my youth, and I was oblivious then, but now I can truly admire certain things my mother had to do for us. Juggling four-plus jobs just to make sure there was always food on the table, clothes on my back and a roof over our head. I remember nights she'd come home crying after a long night of serving because of shitty tips or rude customers or pure exhaustion, and she would just remind me to keep doing well in school and to go to college so that I would never have to go through the hurdles that she was facing.
And even though she needed to make ends meet, she never sacrificed her self-respect for it. I'll never forget the moment my mom told me she quit her corporate job because her boss was mistreating her. I was so proud of her.
You can't put a price on peace of mind.
Even with those circumstances, she made sure we were OK. And that was the story of our lives together--through the bad times or the good times, she made sure we were good. That's love.
I look forward to the day that I can repay her for all of the sacrifices she made for me, and until that day comes, I will continue to become a woman she is proud to call her daughter.
A strong woman. A wise woman. A compassionate woman. A woman who is not afraid of love, but breathes it and spreads it with every fiber of her being.
Thank you for always loving me, Mom. You're the greatest gift I could have ever asked for.