giving up.

July 21, 2010

My mom and I really couldn’t be more different. 

She talks nonstop when I just want to listen.  She never fails to think the best of people when I choose to be a cynic and always question motives.  She’s an Indiana farm girl at heart and I crave the sights and sounds of the city.  So it should really come to no surprise that when it comes to certain aspects of life, I am bull-headed and stubborn as hell and Mom has no problem just giving up and walking away.

When I was young, I used to admire her ability to have no shame about admitting defeat.  To simply say “it just wasn’t for me” while throwing the towel in.  There have been so many times I’ve suffered too long through things – poor relationships or shitty jobs – just to avoid the stigma of being called a “quitter”.

But as the years progressed, and I watched her go through something like 5 jobs in a single year, quit on her marriage with my father, and change dentists and doctors more than some people change their bedsheets, it occurred to me that maybe it’s ok to be a little bit stubborn.  Maybe it’s because of her that I’ve become so persistent.

Sometimes I wish I could exchange a little bit of her ambivalence for a dose of my gumption. 

It nearly killed me when we spoke today and she told me she was having second thoughts about her relationship with her live-in boyfriend, Lenny, a man that I’ve grown to adore and someone so perfectly suited for her, the two of them might as well be Ricky and Lucy.   

Maybe she is so scared of failure that she’d rather just walk away on her own, I’m not sure.  All I know is that it’s not always easy.  It’s not always going to be perfect – we don’t live in a fairy tale.  But don’t you think that sometimes, “good” really is good enough? 

I hope she can see that someday.

Q

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4 Responses to “giving up.”

  1. citygal Says:

    I never got along with my mom until I moved out. We still don’t see eye-to-eye sometimes. You know your mom – she is how she is and that’s not going to change. Just do the best you can…and at least she provides you with some good blogging material 😉 OH, and hope you like the book!!

  2. southlandstory Says:

    My mom and I are almost the exact same person, instead of opposites, and it’s just as hard. It’s like arguing with yourself: it just goes in circles. We are both stubborn, non-quitters which means sometimes we see eye-to-eye, but our fights last forever because neither one of us gives in! Mother/daughter relationships are always difficult no matter what the personalities are like. Anyway, this post entertained me during a boring day at work so, thanks!

  3. OG Says:

    That is a tough one. I am the same way as you are, it bothers me when people give in or refuse to try. My brother and my mother are very much like this. Sometimes when you break through that search for perfection and accept that things that aren’t perfect can still be great the situation becomes much better – it can be as simple as changing perception.

    I have gotten to the point with my mother where I realize that I can’t change her – she’s just a person, not the mother figure that I used to think she was when I was younger. I have accepted her for who she is and am thankful that I have learned to be a different person.

  4. AdventureRob Says:

    I think relationships (partners rather than a parent/child one) with that sort of difference wouldn’t work long term.

    Although someone in the middle would be compatible with both extremes of persistence and giving up.

    I’ve not had this problem as I’ve learnt to use my judgement on when to give up on things and when to carry on work and it’s worked out ok so far.


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