My daughter recently posted something on one of her social media pages that (with her permission) I am going to share, because it's just so beautifully said:
I'm scrolling through my feed on Instagram, there a couple of posts that I see, you know, those accounts that post sad poems and quotes that make you think bad things about yourself. And I'm just sitting here thinking, why? Why do these people post things like this? Why do humans in general rarely accept when you have self love, or confidence. Everyone is forced to be sad, or insecure about something. Why? People need to realize that it's not conceited to finally have some confidence, or happiness in their lives.
Well to those of you who follow those accounts, own them, look at them every night, I want to tell you something. It's okay to love yourself. It's okay to be happy. And It will get better. It really will. No matter how dark something seems, It. Will. Get. Better. You may have to work toward it, and nothing is wrong with asking for help. You shouldn't be expected to figure everything out on your own because it's impossible. You will be okay, maybe not right now, but you will be, and you should be there to see it. You can't live life dwelling on things you've done in the past, or past traumas because you will not get anywhere. Looking at sad pictures or music will not get you anywhere.
It's okay not to be okay sometimes, but it's not okay to give up because you're not okay right this minute now. Everyone has something great about them, everyone has a purpose, you may have to make your own purpose, your own fate, but that's okay. You will be better, you will be okay. I love all of you. You. Will. Be. Okay. I promise.
Can I tell you how hard it was to finish reading that with the tears streaming out of my eyes? One of my friends saw the post as well, and sent me a direct message to tell me just how amazing and beautiful my kid is - inside and out - and of course, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Then she added, "Like mother, like daughter."
That's where I had to disagree. My kid is absolutely the best of me, with very few of the inner demons that plague me and weigh me down. And I would have never had the maturity or wisdom (or talent - seriously) to write something like that at the age of fourteen.
My friend clarified. "I wasn't just talking about her talent," she wrote. "I was talking about the resilience. She gets that from watching a mother who had to fight through some serious crap to get where she is. She knows she can get through bad times because you taught her that it can be done."
I love my children. And I've worked hard to raise them to be kind, responsible, respectful human beings, but beyond that, the greatest thing they can learn from me is resilience. This too, shall pass. Today's pile of festering garbage may be tomorrow's climbing platform and next month's fertile soil and next year's foundation for the rest of your life.
I always like to say that no matter what exhausting, terrible thing I'm dealing with - someday it's going to be a chapter in the book about my fabulously interesting past. Maybe even only a paragraph. And it seems someone was listening when I said that. Listening and watching, and let that be a lesson to me that sometimes, parenting still works - even when you're wading through a sea of crap.