First of all, check out that flippin' amazing photo of my mom in all her sepia 70s glory. Not only have I seen that exact skirt on at least ten hipster gals around Portland, but what I really love about this photo is how she looks like she's just radiating light from inside. I've never looked that happy in my entire life, let me tell you. My resting bitch face is chronic. But what mostly inspired me to write this post was the stained glass panel that hangs in the guest room at my parent's condo. I've seen it a million times, and if you're reading this post you've now seen it too:


The other day that stained glass panel really got me thinking about my mom. She has a pretty unique origin story (to borrow from superhero vernacular). When she graduated high school, her mother told her that she could either go to engineering school or secretarial school. So she chose engineering school, and after graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology (formerly Stevens Hoboken Institute of Technology, but they had to change it because if they left Hoboken in there, the acronym spelled out S.H.I.T.) she worked briefly as an engineer before quickly realizing that she hated it. After that, it was a stint in stained glass (which the above piece is from), and she also worked as a pilot teaching other people how to fly. 

I got all of my creativity from my mom. While I've got my dad to thank for my persistence, reasoning, and logical nature, I owe my unconventional career inclinations to my mom. She was a total trailblazer in her time (and still is - she's teaching herself French as I write this) and she never let society's expectations get in the way of her dreams. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and freak out for at least 20 minutes about what I'm doing with my life. I worry if everything I've done so far is pointless, and whether I'm ever going to do anything meaningful or impactful. But then I remember that my mom turned her back on a lucrative engineering career to pursue her own interests, and I feel better about myself. 

My mom is from New Jersey. She's always saying how people from New Jersey are tough, and they don't take shit from anybody. If someone's giving me a hard time, my mom will joke that I should "go Jersey on them." I've never had to do that, but you'd better believe that I would if I had to. It's just one of the many ways that my mom taught me to stand up for myself. She also taught me to follow my dreams, and to never give up (which is exactly as hard as it sounds). She never stopped following her dreams, so I suppose I can chug along a little longer on mine. If I do, maybe I'll be my own success story someday.

So here's to moms and everything they do. Sometimes it's hard to see how awesome they are when they're telling you to fold your laundry or subtly implying that you haven't brushed your hair in three days, but trust me, they are.



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