My mother disowned me recently. No that’s not a typo, she, my only parent, has decided we are no longer fit to be a family. While my actions and opinions may have contributed to this train of thought I certainly don’t feel like either of us gained anything out of it.
Well here’s the story. I’m heading into my third year in college, and my life has turned upside down. My mom moved into my college apartment with me at the beginning of last year…which was difficult to say the least. Being Korean she has her set of house rules and I have mine, as a Korean-American. Needless to say they clashed. I believe that so long as I am excelling in school, working hard at my sport, and maintaining a decent level of health and happiness, I deserved some small margin of freedom. My mother doesn’t think this way. She believes my sense of “freedom,” is equivalent to her sense of “trashy, low-class behavior.” This makes sense if you believe that going to a movie with a few friends around 10 pm is ludicrous and you should be in bed by 11 pm if you expect to function at any sort of productive level.
It wasn’t necessarily the “my house, my rules,” sort of clash (considering I was paying my full share of rent), that caused the strife between my mother and me, it was more the emotional environment we were drowning each other in. I love my mother, but she is one negative-Nancy. There was always some sort of tragic emergency at hand. Whether it be my lack of spending time with her or my inability to fix her computer while I was in class. Regardless the air was continuously permeated with pure negativity. I had to get out.
After about six months of being in such a toxic living environment, I was sent a gift from God. Tyler. Tyler and I met at the Landing in Jacksonville, during the University of Florida vs. University of Georgia football game. We met and I nearly fell off the planet. It’s been almost nine months since we’ve been together and while that may not seem like much, I feel like I’ve grown 10 years as a person just spending nine months with him. He just swooped right into my life and salvaged my sanity, much to my mother’s dismay.
Tyler and I grew closer over time and my mother grew resentful. Of everything.
Eventually I decided to sit down and tell her how I felt. I felt stifled. I felt smothered. I wanted to live like other college students, you know, with people my own age. No matter how tactfully I attempted to address this subject, she was convinced that I was claiming total independence and asking her to get out of my life entirely. I just don’t understand that. What daughter wants her mother completely out of her life? I want college to be my stepping stone to independence, the in-between of two completely different realities. I want my mother to help me if I need her, but give me space to grow. I just can’t understand how she can take that and turn it into the ultimatum she gave me:
You live with me and by my rules. Or, I’m out of here and you won’t see a dime from me for the rest of your life.
Not too sure how that translates. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on who you ask, I chose the latter. Thus, my life has totally changed. I’m making my own money, totally independent, and living the dream. Tyler’s family has taken me in as one of their own and I’ve never felt so much love and happiness in my life. My mother moved across the country and I haven’t heard from her since. I miss her, I hope she thinks about me. I can’t sleep at night anymore.
It truly is amazing the way your whole life can flip directions because of a single decision. Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, said in his most recent blog post:
“So often we’re faced with decisions that are almost completely emotional. The impact can sometimes agitate a neutral situation or exacerbate an already bad one. The decisions we make should have a positive impact on us, our lives, our jobs, the people around us and even our competitors or opponents. If nothing can be gained by a decision, then that decision should be left alone…which can achieve the greatest gain of all: peace of mind.”