Yesterday, my Mom told me she was proud of me.
I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened in my lifetime and here she was saying it multiple times in one phone conversation. At first I thought she was just proud because I have fulfilled some sort of lifelong dream that involves working two full-time jobs, but no, she’s proud of me for going after my dream of being a professional actor. So thrown was I by this confession that I had to call her back after I hung up and make sure she wasn’t dying (she’s not, btw).
Without going into details, I only have my Mom and she’s never been happy with my career choice. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who can understand what that feels like. I’ve always been jealous of artists who have parental support. Sure, she wants me to be happy, but she knows how difficult an acting career can be and she doesn’t want me to have to deal with that.
She basically told me the reason she never said it before was because she knew I would take it as a sign of encouragement and I would just run off, potentially slamming my face into the wall in the process. And she’s right. But what she only seems to be realizing now is that it’s MY face. And if I want to get a giant tattoo of a bird on there or slam it metaphorically into a wall, I’m going to do that, whether or not she likes it or approves of it. But it would be much nicer and easier for me if she did.
I’m a grown up, yes. I’ve been living on my own for over twelve years. I cook my own meals, good meals, and do my own laundry and cleaning. I own property, I work hard, and I’ve had some level of success doing what I do. I’m an actor, a writer, a producer and a marketing person. I dream of being an internationally recognized bilingual artist and just watch me because I will get there one day. I love to travel and learn and meet new people. I do not need anyone’s approval or support. I fall down and fall often, but I always ALWAYS get back up. I can do anything that I put my mind to. I am a strong, ambitious and independent woman.
But just between you, me and the interwebs, deep down, what I’ve always wanted is my Mommy to be proud of me and know that I am only able to do even half the stuff I have accomplished in my life because of her. Because I’ve seen her be a strong, ambitious and independent woman, an entrepreneur who has raised two very strong and successful daughters by falling down a lot but always ALWAYS being crazy enough to just get back up again on her own terms. And that’s the best example and the greatest gift I could have ever had.
I love you, Mom, and I’m proud of you too.