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Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'm addicted...

...to reading. That's what my mom said to me the other day. I was sitting at her dining room table, drinking my coffee (another terrible addiction she claims I possess) while casually reading something or other.  The chaos and madness that are my kids twirled and swirled before me but I masterfully tuned it all out and focused on the pages, consumed by words. That's when my mom burst my peaceful bubble with her negative words and disapproving frown. "You're addicted to reading, Ladan!" And then she said those three words that I should be immune to by now. Those intrusive words that she says all too often to me. At me. Words that hurt, when I'm old enough and wise enough to know they shouldn't. "Get a life." I ignored her. Shrugged my shoulders and kept on reading. I pretended she hadn't wounded me, though she had and always did. Sticks and stones...but words, words. Words are everything. I like to think I have a life. A happy one. A good one. Yet my mother always begs to differ. Yet her gaze is always disapproving and her words strike instead of soothe. I know she means well. I know she loves me. I know her life are her kids: my brother and I. However, there is something that lies deep down, something unsaid, something untouched, that I can't put my finger on. Something that no amount of achievement can heal, no level of hard work can cure. Something that stirs within the pit of her soul, enunciating each word through gritted teeth: 'Not. Good. Enough.' And maybe I'll never be good enough. Maybe she loves me so much, believes in me more than I believe in myself, sees my talents and my worth as so much more than I deem even possible, that I'm not meeting her expectations of me. She's on this other level of just how great I can and should be and, why aren't I there yet? Oh. Because I'm addicted to reading. Wasting my life on reading books other people have written when I should be writing my own. Keeping a clean house and tending to my kids when I should be out there getting my doctorate in something or other. My mother is very big on education.  I suppose her perspective on things are understandable. Who doesn't want the best for their kids? Except that I'm proud of who I am and all I've done...so far. I'm hopeful that I'll achieve a lot more before my days in this life are over. In the meantime, I do have a life. One that I'm quite content with and am living the best I know how. I wake up happy. I love my family. And I love indulging in books and coffee, milk duds and sushi. I love tickling my girls until they are laughing so hard that they have swallowed the sound and all you see is their dimpled, wide smiles and the trembling of their body trying to contain themselves as my fingers gently poke and prod their soft, sensitive skin. I am addicted. I'm addicted to my kids, to my husband, to this life I've created for myself. To all the things I do. To all the things I love too much to quit. I guess, with that said, I'm also addicted to my mother.

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