I wonder what she would say. My Mom, I mean. I wonder what she would think if she were in the audience or if she were to hear the interaction at a webinar.
I wonder what Mom would think if she knew that I was about to offer my practice to a Women’s International Network. Then again, I wonder what anyone who knew me “then” would say if they saw me now. Would they bash me? Would they roll their eyes and say, “No way!”
I wonder if those who noted my past mistakes would allow me to surpass my previous limitations. Or, wait, no. I wonder this about myself because perhaps if it wasn’t for my past, I might have never decided to hold myself accountable to create my present – or improve.
I remember my teachers who haunted me, which is not to say that they were all bad. However, they weren’t all good either. I also remember the ones who predicted my future. I remember the people who laughed when I told them about my plans. I remember the crooked faces and the raised eyebrows and the judgment, which perhaps; this only goes as far as my perception can see. But either way, I remember each time that I was told this was the best that I could ever be. And I remember each time I believed this.
I remember the doubts. I remember the feelings which were like open sores, raw to the touch; yet, I tried my best to hide this from the light.
I remember being told that I don’t have the education. I was told that I would never be able to handle the job I’m looking for. I was told that no company would hire me (as I am) so, rather than plead for support or beg for a chance – I built my own brand. I created my own company.
I am no guru by any means nor am I saying that I am anything better than this: I am a person who decided to give myself a chance. I am a person who chose to create the life I want instead of settling for the life I have.
I wonder what she would think. My Mom, I mean.
I wonder what she would say to people. I wonder if she knew that there was a time in my life where had it not been for her, I’d have failed myself persistently and consistently and on a daily basis.
I watched a male dominated industry pick my Mother apart after my Old Man passed. I watched her fight with all she had because (to her) losing the business would have been like losing my Father all over again. Sadly, she did lose. Mom lost it all but rather than quit, at a time when Mom should have been enjoying retirement, Mom worked up until she physically couldn’t work anymore.
“No one ever promised you a rose garden,” is what Mom would say.
“No one said any of this is gonna be easy,” Mom would tell me.
I watched her fight until Mom couldn’t fight anymore. I saw her live through surgery after surgery with five diseases in her spine and even down to Mom’s final breath, she refused to give in. This is more than inspirational. This is heroic.
I wonder what Mom would think. I wonder what she would tell people who sat at a presentation. I laugh while I type because in the mix of my emotions, I remember my first book review.
Mom was in rare form.
I was at the public library in my town, which aside from the time when I made the appointments to speak, the last time I was in the library was an unfortunate time because I was a different person then. But that was decades ago . . .
Mom sat in the back of the room and on occasion, Mom shouted out a story of mine and said, “Tell them more about the time . . .” and of course, Mom’s ideas were slightly embarrassing. But I would give anything to have her at one of my presentations now.
I am mainly unscripted when I speak, which is easy enough when the program only lasts an hour. However, college lectures are 3-hour lectures, which can be tiresome. Then again, this is where I get my energy from. My emotion is part of my drive. So are my memories and so is Mom.
I wonder what Mom would say to the students. I wonder what she would think when they line up and ask me to sign a book for them or wait, I wonder what Mom would say to those who wait around, just to tell me about their life’s story.
I wonder what Mom would tell me after and it’s not about her pride or telling me I was good or anything like that. But still, I wonder what Mom would say.
I wonder what Mom would teach me or how she would encourage me when I’d give in to old thoughts or feelings. What would Mom say when I’d believe that somehow, I am not fit.
What would Mom tell me about imposter syndrome? Or, would Mom tell me, “It’s not easy, son. And no one ever told you that it would be.”
Go. Do. Be.
That’s all you can do.
I’m not sure how or when or why. I’m not sure where my sources come from or what inspires me. I know that I used to spend too much time believing in doubts. I wasted decades believing in my limitations.
I know that I believed in the predictions about my future, which is not to say that I predicted this. However, I did give in.
I did submit myself to what I assumed was the popular belief about me. I spent most of my life, focusing on differences and believing in controversies, expecting the worst and awaiting the impending doom.
I spent much of my time catastrophizing and doubting.
I never thought to look for the commonality between us as people. I never thought to look towards ideas which empower us. I never dared to speak in a way that was both competently and cohesively strong. Nor did I ever think to look for a mutual pattern; whereas, rather than argue or debate, I never sought through solution-based thinking. Instead, my mind was elsewhere.
I wonder what Mom would say if she saw what her baby boy has become
(or at least, if she saw what I’m trying to become).
There are ties when the anxiety hits the red line. There are times when my fears are both irrational and insurmountable. There are times when I am literally inconsolable because, at all times, I am human and no different from anyone else.
There are bouts when I am afraid that I’ll have my shot and just before the curtain lifts, somehow, I’ll be pulled away – just like Jonathon Larson who died before the opening night of his play RENT.
I think above all things, this might be my biggest fear. I build my trick – and then just before my opening night; I never get to pull it off or say “TA-DA!”
I wonder if Mom sees “time” the same as I do. Or, is time infinite now because Mom is timeless and hopefully, Mom’s watching. It’s not that I want Mom to see everything. I still have some maturing to do. I have work to do on myself, both personally, behaviorally and professionally. But still, I wonder what Mom would say if she could see me now. I wonder if she could see the boardrooms and the views. I wonder if she would tell me that she always knew; that it was me who was the last to find out that this is me, which means this was always possible. I wonder if she would tell me that most times, nothing is possible if we do nothing but wait and see.
I’m not sure if the universe delivers any of my messages. I don’t know if the universe has an inbox for me. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I don’t know which way this trip is going to take me . . . but, if you can – I could use a sign. Just a little something. Just to let me know that you’re there.
We live in a mainly virtual world now. So, it’s not like I have anything to send that you can put on the refrigerator door. I guess for now, I’ll send this.
Just to let you know.
I go on at noon, Mom.
I hope I’ll see you there.