I had a good talk with my mom, we came across with an unexpected treasure trove of old pictures from before I was born, when my mom was younger than I am now. There she was, with long, shoulder length hair (I’d never seen her with anything but a short crop), laughing at some secret joke, posing dramatically. We laughed while looking through the photos. I teased her about her hair. She looked embarrassed but pleased when I told her she was so pretty.
Funny how you think you know a person when, really, there’s so much more that you don’t know. How well do you know your mother? Maybe you know her as your allowance – giver, or the party – pooper who won’t let you go sleepovers, or the hardworking businesswoman you wish spent more time with you. But maybe this is the year you begin to see your mom through different – more open – eyes. Get to know her better by spending time with her where you really talk and bond, not just shop or do homework together. Ask her questions. Find out what she was like when she was younger, and what she still dreams about. The more you get to know the person behind the “Mom” label, the more things about her you’ll find to appreciate and celebrate every day with her.
Moreover, try to get to know your Motherland – and Mother Earth – or go global and get to know other lands so you can come back home and love your own land more, or use what you’ve learned from your travels to make your homeland a better place. The same thing can happen with places: Sometimes you think you know all there is to know about a place, not realizing that there is always more to discover. How well do you know your country? Your city? Your world? Has your world become so familiar that you take it for granted now, no longer excited to find out what secrets it holds, quick to judge it because it’s not like you imagine other places are like?
Traveling, near or far, can help you grow in ways you wouldn’t have if you’d just stayed put. There’s so much to discover, and what you discover can show you something new about yourself too – just like an old photograph of my mom made me realize just how much her younger self was like me and how much I’m growing up to become like she is now. And I couldn’t be prouder.