What a lonely moment: when your mother tells you she admires you.
I don’t think anyone wants to hear that from their mom.
I would rather hear: I understand you than “I don’t get what you’re doing, but I’m going to idealize it from an external perspective and applaud your efforts”
Is this growing up? What a lonely, wretched process. You realize your entire childhood was a closely monitored system of being told how to do things in a world that is, in every way, so chaotic and indeterminable that in your own understanding, there is no perfect way of handling anything.
You grow up and you realize your parents, who you thought had it all figured out, are lonely worried people grasping to the ways their parents told them to do things.
But those things are just half-truth, leaky rowboats—maybe sturdy enough to keep your parents afloat in this ocean of living. They’ve patched the holes and scooped out the water with their steady efforts, persisting always in the way their parents have done. But you’ve been swimming through driftwood for years looking for land on the horizon, and finding depths of living your childhood raft boat never prepared you for.