Yesterday my mother said to me, "I'm just afraid you will get hurt." I understand that. My mother has watched me hurt quite often and no mother likes to see it happen.
I tried to assure her that I was willing to take the risk and that I would be okay. "You have to play to win, Mom." I answered back, and then could not quite explain myself.
I will try here instead, my sweet mother, to explain it better.
I am not afraid to hurt, however much I do not want to hurt. I am afraid to grow numb and not feel. I am afraid more to never experience all the things I want to experience. I know it pains her to watch me stumble. It would pain me more if I sat down right where I was and stopped moving forward.
Each heartache has led me on to the next part of my life. Each joy also led me to the next too. I only hope she understands that it is her who taught me to be strong no matter what happens.
I know there must be times she wishes she could just step in and stop me in my tracks when she sees me teetering on the edge. I want her to know that though I am an eternal klutz I do manage balancing on the edges quite well. And when I fall, somewhere on the way down, I grab hold of her and my father, my sister and my brother, my family and friends and never quite reach that bottom. I am thankful to have them to break some of my fall.
My mother is fearful when I am out in this world that I will make poor decisions due to me making several of them over the course of my life. It's okay though, I fear the same thing for my children too. However, I want her to know I am more afraid of not choosing, of not deciding, of being paralyzed with fear that I can't decide. Instead I choose to choose. Even if it's blindly, I choose to do something rather than nothing.
My mother wishes to know I'm settled in life, that I have someone to love me and someone to love, someone to lean on as well as someone who can lean on me, someone to bring me happiness as well as someone I can bring happiness too. I want those same things. That is why I am choosing to be brave. I know there are heartaches around every corner, the possibilities of heartaches. But there is also the possibility, the probability of, and the hope of all we wish for.
I have to be willing to take chances and to expose the real me to be able to really live my life. I fear rejection at every turn. I can spin my head in circles in those dark still moments when I look at everything with a cynical eye rather than a hopeful one. I can talk myself into never leaving the house again if I stop to think of every horror that could possibly befall me. I am not going to do that though. I'm just going to take a deep breath and do what I have always done which is keep at it.
I am as terrified as you, my sweet mother, but I am sure too, with you behind me, I will do just fine. Don't forget I had a most stubborn woman raise me.
Monika M. Basile