Remembering vs. Imagining

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Making decisions both little and big traumatized me during the first 30 years of my life. I relied too much on my mom, and she knew that. So she stopped being part of my decision-making process, crushing me.

“I won’t be around forever. You have to learn how to make choices and move on,” she told me. I still can’t believe she cut me off.

Initially my disbelief focused on her betrayal. How could she leave me hanging? While I was certain every choice―be it a job or a wardrobe decision―would seal my fate, she knew all too well of the many other variables we can’t control. And she knew I had to let go of that part of me that depended on her.

Looking back, I’m amazed at her insight and the foresight she practiced by cutting me off so I would learn to fly on my own. I did pretty well for myself, although you couldn’t convince me of that at the time. But I have proof:  two daughters who certainly don’t depend on me to make decisions. They’re independent, successful young women who are incredible in their jobs, in sports, in how they interact with the world and give back to it. It blows me away that I had something to do with shaping them and can’t wait to watch them become ever better versions of themselves.

We are works in progress. As mere mortals, we can look at ourselves in hindsight but have difficulty imagining our futures. This week’s Brainpickings email includes Daniel Gilbert’s TED talk about how our allusions about time can make us believe the moment we are in right now “is the final destination of our becoming.” Sounds like heady stuff but if you have five minutes it’s worth a listen. I’ve embedded it below.

You never know where you’re going to get great nuggets to make life a little clearer. Earlier this week TMZ Live’s Harvey Levin said his father told him to take big risks until you’re 35. Then you have to get a little more serious. Brilliant. On a radio series yesterday a character talked about how no longer having a family of origin eliminates the gift of walking backwards into our past to remember how we were molded. A beautiful sentiment.

With or without that family, our personal journey keeps us forever morphing. Thank goodness. New beginnings every morning.

“Stick with me,” my mom always said. And I do. Each new start always includes a piece of her, wherever she is.

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