What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the person you’re the closest to?
Technically the title of yesterday’s Daily Prompt was BFFs which might suggest they were trying to get you to think of lessons your friends might have taught you. As much as I love my friends, no lessons – except that you shouldn’t mix Pimms and Champagne unless you want to die from the hangover that follows (yes, I know you’re reading this).
But there is one person I have always learned a lot from and she is one of the people I am closest to, if not the most close to.
So please let me introduce you to:
The original WISE WOMAN!
How do you think I came up with the blog’s name?
My Mum has given me so much great advice that’s it hard to remember them all. To think of the most important lesson she taught me is almost impossible. But there is one that sticks in my mind as a firm piece of advice:
Always make sure you can support yourself. No matter what.
She means that I shouldn’t be solely reliant on anyone. No her. Not my future husband. I think at the time we were talking about my career and that I should ensure that I push myself to get my professional qualifications and experience so that, if the worst should happen, I can work to support my family.
This matters a lot to me. Not particularly because of the actual advice but certainly the message behind it: independence. Being independent is so important to me though it may not come across if you met me. After all, I still live with my parents, preparing to move into a house that’s only a ten minute drive away from them with my fiancé who was my first and only boyfriend. I have no interest in taking a year off to travel the world.
I suppose my interest in independence comes out in three different ways.
Being financially independent is a big goal for me (and one I see as a main real-adult milestone). If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know I’ll be moving into my own home soon so it’s very possible I will be financially independent of my parents very shortly. It’s both exciting and terrifying.
Remaining independent in my relationship is something I’ve always strived for. As much as I love spending time with my partner, I need my own space. Both to be by myself but also to be with other people without him. I need to have my own life and the thought of being sucked up in his wave without making my own decisions or letting him, quite a strong personality, is something I think about a lot. Something that is great about my relationship is that I feel supported to go and achieve my goals which are only my own.
My Mum is hugely independent, even though she has been married since she was 21. Even as a young girl, I knew she represented everything I wanted to be. She had and still has a very career yet she was the greatest mother I could have imagined, spending so much time with me and my brother. Her relationship with my Dad is full of laughs and it’s clear to see they adore each other. I suppose most of all in this context, she is my idea of strong and independent. Hell, she’s a force of nature sometimes, not afraid to tell people what she thinks.
Sometimes I worry I am just a carbon copy of her. Most people say we are alike. We look alike. Our laughs are the same. The way we speak is so similar it has frightened people (especially my Dad). It can be hard to show that you are different from her and it is something that plays on my mind. That’s not her fault. It’s mine. I respect her so much, I can take everything she says as gospel.
Luckily, she pushes me to be my own person and to think for myself. She’s pushed me to be independent from her and make my own way in life which I will always be grateful for. More so now than ever, I can see me being independent from her. Having my own life with my own thoughts and values. Some intersect. Some don’t. And that’s ok.
Mum taught me the value of being financially independent, independent in a relationship and independent in your thoughts. Think for yourself and be yourself.