Tell me YOUR dream… Mom?

Travellingboots Blog
Mom and I

It felt like such a simple question.. Tell me YOUR dream, Mom? And nothing could have prepared me for the coming responses from this wonderful woman who I idolize. No one I’ve ever known had said a single bad word for her. She is the reason why I am who I am today. She saw beauty in me even when I was convinced, I was ugly; physically or mentally! She is called the Lioness of our family; always fearless in the toughest situations, she has trodden us out of murky waters countless times and never let any fear get the better of her. A saint who made us all better human beings all through her life with her kindness and wisdom. Always loving. Always understanding. Always there. Always giving. My mother… a short woman, radiating with confidence. Why was she lost when I asked her; “Tell me YOUR dream.. MOM?”

It felt like she took a step back in her mind, she leaned back for a moment and then said, “I just want all my children to be happy and successful”; to which I said, “But that every parent wants Ma. What is YOUR dream?”. She again smiled nervously and said “What can I wish for, I have everything” I again retorted, “But one still has dreams Mom, don’t you have any personal dreams?” I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t understanding my question. It was a pretty simple one; Tell me YOUR dream; Mom? I think it hit her when I said personal but she looked a bit unsure still, so very patiently I gave her some examples. I said, “Ok like I dream to see the Northern Lights and settle in a cosy, small home in the mountains next to a river with a big pick up truck when I’m 55… Dad wanted his own house in South Delhi, he dreamed of one day owning a Mercedes; those were his dreams.. similarly, What is your dream; Mom?

It broke my heart; she had no immediate answer, and just smiled nervously and said, “I haven’t ever thought about it” So I decided to give her some space and dwell on the thought. I did walk away but it kept hitting me in my head.. how could a person not have any dreams!

My mom; like most in her age had some health problems a while back and she did appear to face them well. She never cried, she never complained, she never cribbed and was always smiling. It wasn’t bravery. It was conditioning. I know that now. It was pure conditioning.

The fact that a woman, once a wife should only think of her husband’s happiness and support his success. That a woman, once a mother can only ever think of everything to improve the quality of life of her kids. WOWWWW! What? And what’s amazing is; we woman are so so brain washed that we actually believe that’s how we will be the much acclaimed “Good Wife” and “Good Mother”. Is that all we are meant to be? Can’t we be more?

Travellingboots Blog
My Mother

I don’t know about you; I sure don’t want to stop dreaming. Stop dreaming of anything that I want. Yes; I can wish for my children’s lives and future and success and my husband’s health and victories but why should I STOP having dreams of my own? My Solo Travels have taught me the importance of a healthy Well. I’m fully aware that if I’m not happy I just can’t make anyone happy. And if I keep pretending it, its so exhausting that I have unhealthy outbursts of dissatisfaction which are not me at all. Then why were all my Mom’s wants and desires only about the rest of her family, why did they not include her?

Mom had been struggling with her sleep patterns for years now, and I was observing the changes in her. Between taking care of my own home, my long distance marriage, my living alone in the city, the travel for my work (which was a lot pre-pandemic) and maintaining my much needed ecosystem of friends I desperately depend on, with a little time I did spend with her, I had observed her become dull through the years. My brave lioness had become timid of short walks. She was constantly cautious. Any type of pain brought about a flurry of mixed emotions, she sounded petrified, she said she was fine, she’d want to always sleep it off, she’d visit the doctors, she wouldn’t take pain killers, she’d say she was in pain but then quickly say it was getting better. I can almost see you nodding your heads with your Mom in mind… yes all our Moms are angels and yes they have a problem letting us know they are unwell and get jumpy if we want to rush to them, “No, No; you don’t need to come; you focus on family and work; I’ll be fine by tomorrow” Our beautiful Moms. Our care giving Moms. Our Moms who stay up all night; near or far, when we are unwell. Our dreamless Moms.

The next morning; after having put some thought into it, I decided to pick the topic up again. After an exchange on how well she slept at night, I asked her again, “Mom did you think about it; tell me YOUR dream, Mom?” I think she had thought about it a lot. She was calmer and had questions. Good questions. “Why can’t my dream be to see you successful?”, she asked. To which I said, “Cause ma, that’s your dream for me. I reap the most benefits of being successful, besides isn’t that what every parent wishes for. Where is your uniqueness? You are so well educated; an MA, B.Ed with scholarships from Delhi University. You have worked for Reserve Bank of India all your life. All your kids are doing well now. Don’t you want to have dreams of your own to share with us. Why should you always be the listener of everyone’s dreams come true?”

I know and am fully aware of how my own body language and voice modulation changes when I talk about my travel stories. Each moment my dreams coming true. Even the stories with bad experiences come with great lessons. I don’t think I’d heard my mom share her success stories. So I changed gears and instead asked her, “Ok mom, tell me about your school life. What were you good at? Did you win any awards?” Oh my God, how the lights changed and lifted my Mom’s face and spirits. She started from her school days, went on to the cutest silly details like the ice creams she ate, to her college life, how and when she sang on stage for the first time. We spoke about her accomplishments for the next few days. She’d tell a tale like a little child and then walk away smiling. Then recall another memory, share it with excitement and walk away smiling. Her gait becoming more and more self confident with each story. It was almost like she had lost herself somewhere under some pile of dust and as she kept dusting it off and opening the drawers of her memories, she kept piecing herself together. Oh the unravelling was Triumphant! The lines on her face started diminishing, she felt lighter and surer. I was falling in love again!

We are all similar in so many ways. Busy in our lives. Its understandable. We have our own battles to fight and win. We get that daily call from mom, if we don’t answer she mostly understands that we may be busy. If we do answer, she is mostly talking about eating, drinking enough water or our sleep patterns. Its almost annoying when she says that work stress can also be fixed by her home remedies and eating what she recommends (ok I’m exaggerating a bit perhaps.. ) When she meets our friends she will share every silly details of our childhood and how we made her proud. But this write up wasn’t about all that.

This blog was about Dreams. This blog is about how important it is to keep having dreams for ourselves; Our own selves. As a Solo Woman Traveler; I’m aware; yes I use the word aware because with awareness of self begins the process of self-actualization, self-improvement and most importantly Self-love; that Dreams is what separates us from all other creatures. My dear reader, whoever you are, please ensure you have a fully detailed dream for yourself. Just yourself and do something towards it as a practice. Write it down. Remind yourself of what your dream was and is. Work towards it. Whether you are a man and even more so if you are a woman… you have the right to dream a little dream for yourself. Something that would just make you happy. Hold onto it. It can give us reasons to get up everyday.

A week later I got a very excited call from Mom. She had figured it out. Her dream was to see the Golden Temple and the temples of Puri and visit Banaras. We are currently working on her Amritsar plans. Her sleep pattern is perfect. She is energetic everyday. She now shares better stories with her friends as she is now sharing instead of just listening to mundane lives of others. She encourages her friends to have their own dreams too. I said it then, I say it again; its only when we women will realise that we are absolute and complete humans just as we are, that its not just our relationships that define us but also our individuality, that its only us that will change the world. Empower each other. Start at home!

We often complaint, our parents don’t understand us.. but how will they? They taught us, all they knew and all we needed to know till an age they could.. then we moved on and figured our own lives and choices. We learnt new words and found meaning and built relationships with those words. Words like Individuality, Self-Love, Independence and Mental Health. Words that mean so much to us and are still so new to our parents. We all know of the legends of our fathers but so so little about the daily struggles our moms made. Dont just wrap it up in one sentence; “My mom is the best” or “My mom is this and that….” Ask her to tell you details, what were her struggles, what were her achievements, what color was her uniform, was she a naughty kid, who was her favorite teacher… She knows everything about you, shouldn’t you also know her as a person? Who was she and who is she besides being your mom?

Travellingboots blog
I love you Mom!

Sometimes, loving our moms is not enough! Show it in words, actions, support and giving each other dreams.. good dreams! Go ask your moms… Tell me YOUR dream… Mom!

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