The other side

Women that shaped my life

Recently I found myself more and more thinking about how much I got from my mother, first of all in the way I lead my working life. Maybe it’s because of my forthcoming maternity, maybe not. Despite the fact she has done a completely different job than mine along her whole life, lots of her teachings sprang in my everyday life in the office. Though she has almost never passed them explicitly, I’ve somehow absorbed them.

I got to be extremely precise (sometimes almost pedantic to be honest), responsible and well organized. I’ve been forced to grow up very early and become more responsible than it is usually required to children before their teens. Thus I’ve been starting longing for constant approval and appreciation in order to demonstrate I was exactly what my mum expected from me, if not something more. This constant aiming to perfection has been part of my everyday working life for ages. Quite as if doing the wrong thing would have meant to be fired at a sudden or, even worse, to be considered wrong or a bad person. Nevertheless I’ve never forgotten to pay respect to other people: I am ambitious on the right scale, but never willing to step on the others. This is another feature I got from my mother: try to achieve your best, but always be respectful and careful of people around you. Be open to the other and put them ahead of you. Sometimes to achieve this I thought of being required to silence my range or my disagreement, to put apart my feelings and then their display.

This made of me a strongly valued person, above all in the job contest, but somehow fighting an interior war. Quiet, diplomatic and efficient in the office, but what was the price of it? I’ve been struggling with unknown demons at home for a long time: the constant aiming at perfection stole my flexibility and lead me to become slave of control due to the attempt of managing any possible unforeseen event. Always trying to go beyond any expectations: further, further, further… Luckily, that time another woman entered my life.

She is a practitioner and helped me in realizing that “if someone says I’m a hen, this doesn’t mean I am able to produce eggs”. The idea we give of ourselves doesn’t always match with our real personality and so, if ever I should fail in being precise, so make mistakes, this doesn’t mean I am wrong. She convinced me that now and then I could even lose my sense of responsibility and begin to amuse myself again, feel lighter and forget my rigidity. She taught me how much perfection can be boring sometimes, or at least it can have many different connotations or shades. She led me to care about myself first, paying attention to the others, but they now follow. She’s taken me on the other side of my mother teachings, asking me not to get rid of them but teaching me how to take the best advantage from them without losing myself.

So I have to say “thank you” to Luisa and Angela, for teaching me how to become a valuable, responsible, light and happy worker and not a hen!

Originally published at

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