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My Mother

Letter #1 – My mother

So, there you go dear readers.

For those of you who don’t know me, here is one of my story. I think the intimacy of a letter is a good format to get you to know me. I don’t intend to make big and long declarations but experience authenticity with you. I don’t want superficial, surface-level chit-chat but genuine, good manner, heart-to-heart, and sometimes gut-level sharing. I will be honest about who I am, what happened and is happening in my life, share failures and feelings, disclose my doubts, admit my fears, acknowledge my weaknesses and listen to you. So, feel free to write me back, I would love to read you.

Dear readers,

My mother is a giver. She taught me everything I stand for.

Once, she told me one of her stories. She left school cause her father asked her to. He was struggling to cope. He needed help to educate her youngest brother and sister. My mother immediately obeyed without thinking of herself and started to work. Thanks to her sacrifice, my aunt is a doctor and my uncle an engineer.

I always felt in a way that it was unfair. No one should be asked to give up on itself, its dream and best future, lay down the person (s)he might have been.

My mother started to be my motivation in life. But she didn’t make it easy for me to take her greatest revenge on life.

When I was a child, she always pushed me to reach for the stars. She set high expectations and was particularly strict on me while growing up. To please her I studied hard, days and nights, weekends and vacations, falling asleep on my books. Books were my best friends, my lovers, my everything, and work was my religion, an addiction, my drug. To complete the picture, I looked and acted like a man. I was a hungry young boyish girl who already wanted it all. My only priority was to outperform, to shine bright like a diamond and make my mother proud, give her reasons to tell friends and family how brilliant her daughter Meryeme was.

She always encouraged me strongly to be on my own, independent and most of all, be the best. Whatever I did, it was never good enough for her. And she constantly nagged me about “fighting for my professional life, studying and working hard to get the economic power to take care of myself” or “never counting or waiting for a man to hand me money”.  And I would yell to her “not to worry, it wasn’t in my plan. Men were lucky in the past, I wasn’t born, and marriage is a silly invention. So, smile, you’ll live all your life with me.” I knew how to hurt her and it made my days.

Oh sorry mother. She wasn’t fighting with me as much as she was fighting for me. I understand now her strictness and I’m grateful.

According to a recent study, strict mothers have successful children, and successful people had highly demanding mothers. Well, I finished high school with a science diploma, got other more degrees, striving always more for excellence. But, what is undeniable is that she wanted to keep me safe. She knew that society is not supportive of women. And in my life, I always had to fight my hardest to reach my goals.

Today, I’m a strong independent woman, cause my mother is one. I am a giver because she is one. And I am a fighter who always keep getting up when hitting the ground because she is one.

As an example, my job search in France in 2012. Today, you can view several articles on my personal branding strategy, in numerous professional publications, blogs and websites such as 2.0 Job blog, Locita blog, Capital.fr, JeuneDip.com, Management magazine, Studyrama 2012 guide, Recrut’ 2013 magazine. I have participated in numerous professional conferences in order to share my initiative in a tough employment market and in several contests (national and international) that I won. I even had a national TV interview with France 2 to present a realistic depiction of my innovative job hunt.

This to say that in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunities. So dear readers, never surrender.

The childhood story that inspired me:

The Farmer and his Sons – Jean de la Fontaine

My favorite quotes:

– “If your goals set you apart from the crowd stay alone. I don’t go after people, I go after my dreams!”

– “Impose your chance, hold tight to your happiness and go toward your risk. Looking your way, they’ll follow.” – René Char

– “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” – V. Van Gogh

– “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Ran

– “What the public criticizes in you, cultivate it. It is you.” – Jean Cocteau

Voilà…

Yours truthfully,
Meryeme

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