Mother's Day is coming up, and like every year, it's given me a lot to think about.
My mom and I haven't always had a wonderful relationship, and this day rolls around every year and reminds me of that. But this time around, instead of focusing on the negative, I decided I'd list some of the most important lessons I've learned from my mom.
#1: To Work Hard & Be Independent
My mom is a waitress at Cracker Barrel in my home town.
She always worked jobs that weren't exactly glamorous when I was growing up. Waitressing at different restaurants, factories, cleaning houses, etc.
I can remember 12 year old me spending my summers off from school cleaning houses with her. My mom was like the Energizer bunny. She just worked and worked and worked. And that's exactly what she expected from my twin sister and me as well.
My mom didn't graduate high school and her opportunities were limited because of that. I watched her try her best to be independent, but it wasn't easy for her. Gosh, looking back I don't know how she did it. Thankfully after a few years of being a 'single mom' she married a good guy who lightened the load.
But I remember her always telling me, "Morgan Blair, don't you ever depend on a man."
#2: To Be Humble & Remember Where I Come From
I never could have anticipated that I would be working as a Producer for such a successful radio show. If you would've told 17 year old Morgan that one day she'd be living in the big city of Nashville with a salary and benefits...I wouldn't have believed it.
I grew up in the small town of Milan, Tennessee. Moving to the 'city' for us would've meant hauling it 30 minutes up the road to Jackson. (Which is by no means actually a 'big city.')
When I was a kid, we picked up the radio station from a few towns over. I loved to sing along to 90s country in my mom's beat up white Maxima...but I didn't have aspirations to WORK in radio.
I'll be honest, without a good model of what a successful career looked like as a kid, I didn't really know what I wanted. What made all the difference in the end was knowing what I DIDN'T want. I didn't want to be a waitress, and I didn't want to struggle to make ends meet.
To be in the position I am now is an absolute blessing, and I definitely believe that there was a greater hand at work in lining up the opportunities I've been afforded. With that said, I'll never get 'too big for my britches" because I don't think I'll ever feel like I truly belong at the 'cool kids' table' of life.
#3: To Learn From Her Mistakes
As odd as it might sound, I appreciate my Mom's mistakes, because it gave me the opportunity to learn from hers instead of making them on my own.
My mom getting pregnant with me when she was just 20 years old greatly affected my whole life. I knew early on I wouldn't be a young mother, because frankly it's too damn difficult. And my mom had TWINS. I really don't know how she did it.
Also, as I mentioned before, my mom dropped out of high school. That motivated me to strive for the best grades I could, and even though no one if my family had...I was determined to go to college. I paid for my own education and graduated with a 3.9 GPA.
#4: To Forgive
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in the glass room catching up on email after we'd wrapped the show. I got a call from my mom.
When I picked up, she was in tears. "Morgan, I'm checking into rehab," she cried.
You know earlier when I mentioned my mom and I not always having the best relationship?
One reason is alcohol.
Hearing her say those words was such a shock. While I was heartbroken for her, I was relieved she'd made the choice to get help.
She did spend some time in treatment, and as humbling as I'm sure that experience was for her, it was the right decision and a step in the right direction.
Some people would probably be a bit ashamed to admit this about their parents, but I'm not. I don't think I've ever been more proud of my mom.
When I was younger, I was angry with my mom. I blamed her for our torn relationship. I blamed her for just about everything I guess.
It took me a long time to learn to forgive, but I have, and it's changed me for the better. Harboring anger doesn't hurt anyone but the person harboring it.
Sheesh, I guess we kind of took a dark turn there, but let me just say, I wouldn't trade my mom for the world. As Kacey Musgraves once sang, "Family is family."
We've all got our shit, but I wouldn't be who I am today without her and without the sacrifices she made to raise me.
Happy (early) Mother's Day, Mom. I love you and I hope I'm making you proud.