Initially, she didn't support my Pacific Crest Trail adventure. Not because she didn't want to, but because she was scared. This devastated me as I couldn't rationalize how the woman who brought me into this world wouldn't want me to live to the fullest and discover my best self.
But there are three sides to every story. My angle, my mom's version, and the black and white facts of the case.
So, I sat down to get her side. Not only does it help me understand, but for every parent who doesn't realize they are holding the reigns too tight--- listen up! Your kid isn't answering your phone call or only responds to your text with one word because they don't want your two cents trump their determination.
Yeah, you've lived longer and experienced more, but that doesn't mean you're right. It doesn't make you wrong either. What if you allowed them to walk their own path? If that means stumbling so what, they won't roll over and die from it.
Ultimately, if you let them spread their wings, your kid will make a beeline for your advice when they need it.
READ BELOW FOR THE Q & A with mom:
A: LONG SILENCE
"I thought you were running, running away from something. That's what I basically thought. You were looking for a geographical cure. You had a hard time with X (anonymous) and if you read between the lines, you've had very difficult relationships with men who haven't turned out... You've had it up to here and you're ready just to get the hell out. You've dealt with as much as you want to deal with and can deal with. You need a break, so you're going to take one."
Q: What do you think now?
A: "More will be revealed... If this is what you think will make you happy and help you be a better person, what I mean by a better person is- a more kind, loving, considerate person- than I think that's great. That would be a gift to humanity. Not just me as a parent, but to humanity as a whole. That's what we all need is love, in the end. Everyone wants and needs love. Anytime you can expand your spiritual world, which nature is a spiritual gift, hopefully you can capture some of that and bring it back."
Q: How were you able to go from not supporting it, to supporting it?
A: "At first it shocked me. It came out of the blue. You went to Colorado for Christmas and came back and said you were going on this hike for 2,000 miles. I thought 'what?!' I thought you had too much elevation, or marijuana in Colorado is legal (**she was being sarcastic), so I didn't know what you were doing up there. Anyway, it threw me back. It threw me back because you are a close to the vest person, you like your things and life in-order. You aren't usually someone who would throw everything to the wind and do something on a whim or leap-of-faith."
Q: How were you able to make this shift?
A: "Just by learning. I've searched in myself and I've tried to strengthen my faith in my belief more. In doing that, that's helped me accept and believe in what you're doing and have faith in that as well. I know God is with you, as well as he's with me. You are in his hands. I've really just surrendered you to God."
Q: What is your advice to parents out there from this whole experience?
A: "Just because your child is one way for sixteen or twenty years and you've brought them up and taught them (one way), be open minded and willing that someday they might surprise you and do something totally different than the way they've lived or been raised..."
Q: But don't you think you raised me like that? You put me in all these sports and we hiked and did outdoors stuff.
A: "Yes, but just the fact that it's the geographic and logistics of the situation, not being able to know where you are and how you are, (CRYING STARTED) or to be able to see you. Time is precious right now, especially when you're my age."
Q: What do you want to add?
A: "I think every parent really has to go through this. Looking back on my childhood, my mother had to go through a lot of things. She couldn't control us on everything we did. I haven't had to go through a lot (with you), so I was a little shocked. We raise you to be able to have the wings to fly and to be yourself. I think the best advice I could give to parents (would be): be willing and mindful, and open-minded, and try to keep the communication open, and just love them as much as you can. So they can go on their journey with that feeling."
PS- Happy Birthday Mom!! Xo