I dream of a life where people care about me MORE. I know that's probably one of the most selfish dreams a person can have, but I dream it still the same. In this dream, they care about me enough to come and get me when I'm somewhere I shouldn't be, enough to tell me to stop talking when I'm saying things I shouldn't say, enough to tell me to knock it off when I'm doing things I shouldn't do.
I do have many, many people in my life who love me and care about me. I have friends, mentors, family members, professors, who have poured their time and energy into caring about me and for that I am very grateful. Without each one of their influences I would not be where I am today.
But I want more. I always want more. I want someone who cares enough to take responsibility. Someone who cares about my well-being. My future. My current choices. Cares enough to say, "Hey, stop making that choice. It's a bad one."
I dream of a life where all these adults I respect and love so much don't give up on me. They don't walk away when I'm too much. They stick in for the long haul and decide I'm worth the trouble. I'm not talking about spanking, I'm talking about caring for me with words and interactions, in a loving way. Not yelling, not screaming, not abusive, not harmful to me. They want to correct me because they know I can be better, because they know I should do better, because they expect more from me.
I think I gravitate towards people who have really high expectations. People who are picky, hard-to-please and somewhat critical. I have always been close to those people because I appreciate the high expectations they set and the honesty with which they approach things.
My mom isn't one of those people.
She loves me very much but she doesn't love me in a way that's constructive for me. A few months ago, I signed up to run my first half marathon and a few weeks into training I was complaining about how afraid I was for race day. Her reply? "Well honey, it's perfectly acceptable if you want to just run a few miles and then come stand by me."
WHAT?! No, actually mom, that's not okay. It's not! I am a grown adult woman! I paid for this race! I signed up for 13.1 miles! If I planned on only running "a few," I should have signed up for the 3K! It's not okay for me to just drop out on something. I have to set high expectations for myself AND I have to encourage myself to follow through with them because I know she won't. And if I don't meet a specific expectation, I seem to always take on the role of informing myself how awful it was of me to mess up.
Today was my last day of college. I have been in college for 5 years and I will graduate with two degrees in two days. Not because anyone expected me to. Not because anyone told me to. My mom has never said "you had better go to college," or even "I want you to finish college." She has never asked what my grades are, she just trusts they are good enough for me.
She doesn't have expectations for me. Of course my mom is proud. She's always proud. But she would honestly be just as proud of me if I made all D's, dropped out three years ago and got a job at a restaurant. I can even hear her telling her friends, "Yes, I am so proud! You should see her! She is the best waitress ever!" She thinks I'm great no matter what. And that's good, I appreciate her being my number one fan. I know not everyone has that type of mother in their lives and I am grateful for her.
It's just that...I do wish she would have expectations for me.
But I have all those other wonderful high expectation people in my life who do have expectations for me...
The problem is these people aren't always loving, caring, gentle and sensitive to me like I need sometimes. And when their sky high expectations are mixed with "you had betters" and "I can't believe you did such and such," it leaves me feeling more worthless and not-good enough. I know they do love me, they just don't show it well. I have trouble living up to their standards and sometimes I leave conversations feeling doubtful of myself and my abilities and unsure of how to better meet their expectations.
While my friends are telling extravagant stories of their teenage years where their parents quietly showed up at a party, took them home and grounded them, I can't help by swoon a little.
I crave someone to care about me. Care about me in that way. Set boundaries for me. Expect more from me. But match those expectations with encouragements, realistic ideals and patient understanding.
I will go on to do great things. I know I will. Because I expect great things from myself. But it would be nice if someone else did too.
I'm pretty sure I just want a parent.