Growing up has created an ever-growing bond between me and my mother.
Coincidentally, one that has grown through a long distance relationship.
I wonder if that’s because we’re too similar, and too much time spent together leads to clashes.
Probably why it works, although it still hurts.
Mum has given me stability,
and a strong
She has also given me a riled-up attitude,
and emotions that rise and fall dramatically within moments.
She’s given me these feelings, not as weaknesses, but as strength.
I reproduce myself through elements of my mum that aren’t as insightful as the way I handle my emotions, but instead phrases that have always been said from her mouth, are now said from mine. Phrases that at once show the people around me that I have been brought up by an English woman.
“Oo, aa, I lost my bra, I don’t know where my knickers are.” “Taco, burrito, what’s that coming out of your Speedo.”
Never mind, only the first couple are typically English, the other two are just Liz.
I have never known the true sense of home because I was focusing on the place.
Place does not matter. People and feelings matter.
That feeling is safety, that feeling is the aching to be in the company of someone when you have had enough, when you feel as though life is throwing too much your way.
That person is my mother.
Mother to me, and my little sister.
Now that I have lived away from home for five years, I ache to be home.
Home, as in, Phnom Penh.
And it is not because I can go back to my bedroom and be flooded with that familiarity and memories. In fact, my room has now been turned into a guest room. With little evidence of that life lived.
Not even my cupboard is there.
All that remains is the same bed, the same bathroom with an expired face scrub from Lush, and the same old empty jar of olives under the sink which still have not been moved.
I ache to be home and to be with my mum. To go home means to see her.
And since I have been away, kept away from her, and home throughout what we look back on as Covid times, I realise how much my love, empathy and understanding of her as an adult with feelings just like anyone else has grown.
She’s not just a mum who keeps her emotions hidden in order to protect us.
I am beginning to understand her more, growing as a daughter, but it is also painful at times because I can only express it over the phone or through messages on Facebook.
I have always relied heavily on her.
In the way that children do.
I was independent,
but I am still a daughter,
and her still a mum,
a single one at that.
Recently, I can’t shake the feeling that I understand my mum better than I ever have before.
And I will only continue to understand her more.
This has been heightened in the experience of becoming a woman.
How little I knew of her life before me, how much I know of this life I live and how the experiences have shaped me, she’s lived this life in her own way.
This trip down the motherly lane is all about the emotions that come with growing up, moving out.
Noticing the similarities in appearance, personality, and coming of age.
There’s so much reflection in the most mundane tasks. Comparisons to my past self, my current self, and my mum.
I know these feelings are big.
It scares me, because I revert back to the past, I put myself in the shoes of my mum who also lived across the world from her family. Is there a point in doing so because the past is the past.
Maybe there is some.
Because all I want to do now is show my mum how much I care.
Sometimes I forget, but this is my reminder.