As a child, the stories of my mom’s life seemed like the greatest fairytale of all time. So far removed from the domestic realities of the present, the stories of my mom’s past as an international fashion model came as a delightful surprise. It was an exciting excerpt of the novel of her life which was bursting, cover to cover.
Often I’d find myself sneaking off to burry my face in a big red, patent book (her modeling portfolio) which was kept in a wooden cabinet in our house.
I’d carefully leaf through the images and the catalogue spreads, sometimes even coming across old filmstrips and holding them up against the light to reveal the images.
I was amazed and dazzled at the beauty that was my very own mom. I only wished I could have her beauty someday.
Now as an adult, many point out my resemblance to my mom, confirming that my childhood dream has come true. But what I didn’t initially realize was that I had gained much more than beauty from my mom, I had gained dozens upon dozens of invaluable life lessons.
Here, I share with you the major ones:
Physical beauty fades for everyone
As strange as it may seem, one of the greatest lessons I learned from the stories of my mom’s modeling life was that beauty isn’t everything and it always fades, even when you have near-perfect genetics.
In life, beauty only lasts for so long, but reflects the same way over the duration of our lives. The only lasting beauty is, of course, inner beauty.
Personality and ethics fuel success
Since getting by solely on your looks is tough to pull off even for a gorgeous 5' 10" model, I learned that personality and ethics pay off in the long run.
If you’re just a pretty face, you might book the job. But if you’re a snarly complainer, you likely won’t get the chance to finish it. And you certainly won’t book it the second time around.
My mom, who is a leo, has a magnanimous personality, a heart of gold and a great sense of humour, which is what aided her in her career and, ultimately, what built her a positive reputation amongst everyone.
“She wasn’t like the other models,” said my mom’s old friend to me not long ago. “She was cool.”
Freedom and travel are a necessity to the youthful spirit
As a child, an introvert with glasses and a young person of very few words, I had difficulty imagining myself with even an ounce of my mom’s courage, which allowed her to leave home at age 17 to travel the world without any guidance at all.
But after traveling for nearly the entire year myself and spending six months solo in Europe, I've seen more and more parallels.
My mom’s life stories have implanted the courage necessary to obtain freedom and travel. Somehow, somewhere long ago, her whistful stories of eating croissants at 4 am in Paris and posing in the warm waters of the Maldives taught me the value of independent travel during our youthful years.
Building an independent life is important before having a family
Though my mom was still young when she had my eldest sister, she had gained enough life experience throughout the duration of her modeling years to resemble the wisdom of a 30-year-old.
She had acquired the contentment and readiness of such an age, and this gave her so much to tell us and teach us. Still at age 24, I'm hearing stories I've never heard.
The number one lesson I took away from my experience growing up was that in order to be the greatest mom and wife possible, you must first have your own life.
This is what made me adore my mother, and turned her into one of my most important teachers. She taught me this lesson that I believe in so strongly, and understand more and more each day.
In order to be the greatest mother and wife, you must first have your own life.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It