Who made me.. me

There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family, home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today.

The three most important words in my mother’s vocabulary are not “I love you”, but “make your bed.” She adores those words, repeating them over and over again like a broken record player. But did I listen? Rarely. I didn’t understand the point. The bed will just get messed up again at the end of the day anyways, so why bother?

My mother believes that life is like Jenga: without a strong base, the rest of the tower will eventually come crashing down. “If you can’t even do something as simple as make your bed, how do you expect to go to college?” She was determined to make this chore a habit. Every time a mishap occurred, my mother would blame the messy bed. Flunked a test? Missed the bus? Sick? Got dumped? It was all because of your bed. I became exhausted by her words and finally surrendered.

I now know that my mother’s nagging was a form of love. Her persistence has pushed me to do things I didn’t like but had to do. I feel accomplished and organized knowing that I have already completed a task at 8 AM, which helps build momentum throughout my day. A new day does not reset until I have straightened the sheets and arranged the pillows. My messy bed represented a messy me, but with just three words, my mother has transformed my...

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