My mother marches to the beat of her own, private drum. Often, the beat is off and those around her can’t understand exactly what she’s doing, but that seems irrelevant to her — I think my mom might say that being happy is more important than being understood.

Most of what I’ve learned from my mom I’ve had to put into my own words. She’s not exactly a direct communicator, but her actions have always spoken volumes. In this way, she’s always given me room to hear what I need to hear, and to come into my own without having to break [free from] anything.

Mom + Me

One day, I want to write something long and meaningful about my mom and all that she’s taught me, but in the meantime, here’s the short and sweet of it:

  1. Watch Sunset Boulevard, if only because Gloria Swanson deserves to be loved.
  2. Aretha Franklin doesn’t really like white people, but that shouldn’t stop you from singing along to her music as loud and as often as you need to.
  3. Treat a lover like you would a good friend. If you struggle to do this, then you’re not ready to be anything more.
  4. Nothing makes a beautiful woman feel uglier than jealousy. Don’t even bother trying it on — just don’t.
  5. Don’t wear cheap foundation. Anything that you put on your skin for eight hours a day should be good for it.
  6. You can’t make anyone else happy until you make yourself happy first.
  7. Loving someone and living with them are two different things. You can love someone forever, but that doesn’t mean you should spend your life with them.
  8. Your ambition doesn’t just make you who you are, it also makes you who you will become. Never let it go. Not for anyone.
  9. Learn to cook. (This one deserves volumes.)
  10. If you love someone, tell them as much as you possibly can.

I love you, mom.