Today, in the car driving up to LA, I had one of those good, long, terrifying, but 100% necessary talks with my mom again today about my future. This talk has become one of the traditions that now comes with visiting home and not being able to have in person talks with my mom as much as I would like.
I can always see it coming a mile away and it always starts with me trying to avoid it as much as humanly possible.
I try and avoid it because I know she’ll get the truth, the real, good, only things I’ve talked to myself about, and some things I didn’t even realize truths out of me. She does it every time.
She starts easy, but I get it.
“So, how are things going, Juj?”
I say little at first, doing my best to bore her into giving up, but knowing in moments, as hard as I try to fight it, my hereditary need to speak and be heard will kick into high gear and I’ll be giving up my highly guarded master plan. The plan of course, consisting of the realities of my highly unpredictable, half baked future, that truly consists of no plan at all will come spilling out. I don’t regret a second of it.
Along the way, she jumps in with advice and more questions that I usually don’t have answers to but I almost always pretend I do, finding them as I speak in circles. She listens like I never could, saying things along the way that make me feel like a million bucks and comfort the blows of a scared 21 year old.
“Wow, Juj, that’s such a wise perspective.”
“You’re doing a really great job.”
“I’m proud of the woman you’ve become.”
I find it hard to accept those statements. They feel too grandiose. I feel like I should admit to her how many times a week I make pasta for dinner and that I never make my bed at school so she’s less impressed or something.
And then, in the first three second lull from talking that I allow, she reaches out her hand with no other instructions and begins to pray for me.
The conversation then dies down and by that time, I have some sort of stress stomach ache that feels like I’ve just spent the last hour lying on the ground, spinning down a big, grass hill. I think about how the future has never been as close as it is right now and that it’s only getting closer with every minute that we sit there in silence.
And then she changes the subject by suggesting that we go on some sort of food adventure and I realize that I am kind of getting hungry too.