Dear Mom from Abroad

Katherine Ram
May 6, 2016

Three years ago I moved out, not just out of the house but out of the state. You may have joked about finally being able to kick me out and send me off to school, but we all know you’re a professional worrier. How did you feel when I told you I was moving to South America for a year?

If you were scared about sending your little girl to a foreign country, you didn’t show it. Thank you for supporting and trusting me. Thank you for understanding better than I that this experience would inevitably and absolutely change me for the better. Through example, you gave me my core values and ethics, and now I’m polishing the surface through this cultural immersion.

You got to meet Elena, my host mom, when you came to visit over Christmas. I’m in good hands. While you don’t ever seemed interested in my physics lessons, maybe you’d like to hear some of the lessons from my Chilean maternal figure:

  • “Be and treat yourself like your own best friend.” This statement from my host mom gave me the perspective I needed to be a little kinder to myself, asking myself if I’m expecting more from myself than I would of my best friend. Only one person will accompany you throughout your entire life: yourself, so you might as well learn to enjoy your own company.
  • “I don’t want to take all my love to my grave.” Not everybody loves to all of their ability. Whatever the reason, is hoarding one’s love worth an unscarred heart in the end? Love isn’t limited; nobody loses love by giving it out, so why do people ration it? If anything, love expands when shared. We ought to love all we can while we still can.
  • “Love is neither eternal nor permanent.” This may seem contrary to the previous idea, but her advice comes from experience. We fall in and out of love which is why we have to learn to love anew. This pertains to relationships, work, anything.

I’ve realized that despite having grown up in different cultures, you two share a lot of the same values. In turn, I do too. In fact, I find myself saying, “Wow, I’m turning into my mother” with frightening frequency. Whether it’s the way I hold my coffee in the morning, the tone of my voice, or the way I approach an obstacle in my life, if I’m doing it like you, I can do so proudly and confidently.

The more I find I am like you, the more I realize you must have, once upon a time, been like me. I came to Chile to become more culturally sensitive, improve my Spanish, and explore. However, along the way I’ve learned so much about myself, who I am, what I value, etc. As I’ve put the pieces together, you’ve been more than understanding, but I guess you once had to put the pieces together for yourself. 

Funny how moving this far away from you has put into perspective your strength as a woman, a professional, and of course, a mom. This strength may go overlooked as it is so gracefully veiled by your humility, but I want you to know I see it and that I appreciate you. I'm wishing you an amazing Mother's Day from across the world.



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Katherine Ram

<p>I study Physics and Spanish at the University of the Pacific. When not studying, all I want to do is dance or get outdoors. I&#39;ve moved to Santiago to get the best of everything: city, mountains, beach, desert, and more!</p>

2016 Spring
Home University:
University of the Pacific
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