An Open Letter to My Mom, From a College Senior

Modeled after a beautiful letter first written on Sincerely, Felicia. Click here to read the original, and click here to explore more of her work. Thank you for inspiring me!

Dear Mom,

Right now, I’m sitting in my dorm room, some 7 stories off the ground, listening to rain and the cars honking and some random man screaming under the scaffolding at the entrance of my building. I’m eating pasta for dinner (again) and actively procrastinating on all of my assignments (again). Most of my days are spent at work, in class, doing homework, and hanging out with my friends.

When you call and I don’t answer, I am out exploring the city, or attempting to stay awake through a movie night, or hunting down the best cookie in New York, or am knee-deep in links to job applications. When I see that I missed a call from you, I feel awful that I missed it, and I promise that the first chance I get to call you back, I will.

When I am up late at night swapping stories with my friends about home or the future or anything really, I find myself mentioning you a lot. We talk about how much we love our moms and how much we miss them. We consider your opinions all the time. We make jokes when we see other girls leave our buildings in outfits you would never approve of, saying “My mother would never let me wear that!”, even though we’re in our 20s.

I miss you so much, but I also love being here and making you proud. I am the person I am because of you. And no matter where I go, I will always know that you are right behind me looking on, as you always have been. You are the teary phone call at 11 PM because the world has come crashing down for the 7000th time and you’re the only person who can bring me back to reality. You are the happy words when I call with good news. You are the only person in the world who will give me advice and have me ignore you, and then be just as supportive when I come back to you a few weeks later with the same solution and still be just as happy for me, even though you were right all along. You are the voice of reason when I come up with another ridiculous idea, and you are my biggest cheerleader.

You make me want to make you proud every single day. In everything I do and have plans to do, I think of you and put my best effort forward just because I love getting to tell you, and getting to hear how proud you are of me. You have molded me into almost as strong a person as you are. You taught me to love myself, and to always hold my head high. You taught me about being alone, how to handle it, and how to embrace it. You taught me to take a leap and push myself, because if I absolutely eat it upon landing, you will be right there to pick me back up and tell me to try again. Whenever I have ever gone through a hard time in life I always think of you. I have a role model who is also the strongest human being I know. I promise that I still will always need you, even if I can survive without you, and even if I have lofty plans to move out of state or across an ocean. My life would not be my life without you in it.

Thank you for being my rock, my best friend, my favorite human, and for encouraging me to go see the world.

All my love,

Ilana

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