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Email of the Day: My Mother Said “No”

By Dr. Laura on March, 15 2021
Email of the Day: My Mother Said “No”

I’m 65, and my parents divorced when I was only a few months old, so my mother raised my brother and me alone while running a nursery school. I went to an Ivy League college on the east coast with scholarships, loans and a little help from my mother. I dropped out after a year and a half to shack up with an out-of-state honey, much to the dismay of my mom, who didn’t have a college education and worked herself to the bone for our success.


When I was finally grown up enough to realize my mistake, I asked if I could come home and work, save and return to school. She agreed. When I talked to her about going back to school, she said “Have at it, kid! You had your chance with my help and now you’re on your own. If you really want to go, you’ll find a way.”


I was angry and terrified, but it forced me to concretely understand my desires and motivations, which was the best thing she could have ever done. I became an emancipated minor so my mother’s income wouldn’t be included in the scholarship applications. I reapplied to college, was accepted and lived with a family, working for room and board. I got an additional job and got a scholarship two years in a row. I graduated with A's, worked for a high-end consulting firm in New York City, got an MBA from Yale, married and was able to stay at home to raise my children. They’re all grown now, so I’m back in the workforce with a fabulous job. My mother died several years ago, but in my heart after all these years, I still thank her. I have the life I love because my mother said “no.”



My Mother Said “No”



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