Be careful what you do, be careful what you say

by Hazel Pino

Growing up I was always living in the shadow of my brother and for a very long time, I never really understood why that was. Nothing I did, in my parents eyes, was ever good enough. No matter how much time and effort I put into doing something, my brother was always better (even if he clearly put zero effort into something — for example, and this may be a silly example but one that I’ve carried around with me for a long time: my mother had 1st and 2nd place ribbons for the person who could brush their teeth the best, I guess in an attempt to get us to do better, I brushed my teeth for a solid five minutes and I remember trying really hard. But my brother really much ATE the toothpaste and didn’t even brush his teeth, guess who got first place. Yep).

Writing was always my thing. It was my escape, my therapy. My brother was always the artist and I won’t lie, he was a pretty damn good one (before he stopped for some reason) and I always envied that. But my parents never took the time to read my writing, even after my teachers raved and raved about it. My mom never took the time to even glance at it, to even lie that she had read it. Never. To this day, my mom still hasn’t ever read any of my writing (even though I’ve had teachers and friends rave to her about how great of a writer I am).

I remember when I made my first website (paint, HTML and GeoCities, holla!) and I showed my mom because I spent pretty much all week on it. Showed her the graphics I made, the cool pop-ups with the matching pink side scrollers and all she said was “you’re lying, you didn’t make that, you don’t even know how.” that was back in 2001, that was the last website I ever showed her.

When I went to culinary school, I would bring home the cakes that were my assignments and my parents would say the same things, that it wasn’t that great. That I’ll end up just failing at being a pastry chef.

But when my brother wants to go to massage therapy school they’re all *gloat gloat gloat* about it.

When I took up making jewelry, same thing. No matter what I try tomake for my mom, no matter how much effort I put into it, she just sets it aside and forgets about/loses it.

When I worked for Disney, same thing.

I’m pretty much convinced at this point of my life, no matter what I do, it’s never going to be good enough.

With that said, deep down, it doesn’t stop me from trying. My life is ruled by being better than my brother. With proving them wrong. Iwill be something amazing and I won’t thank them because there is nothing to thank. But even if I become something amazing, my mom would have too much pride to be happy for me. And that’s just sad really.

There’s a point to all this!

I’m the type of person who gives up before they try. I get excited about something, look into it, gather the materials and I’ll either try for a short amount of time or I won’t try at all. I have all sorts of intentions of doing this project, but I just can’t bring myself to do this project even if it’s something I know I’ll be good at.

It bothers my husband that I do this, he believes in me to no effen end. No matter how complicated or off the wall my new project will be. He’s there, holding my hand, looking up tutorials and videos with me, learning with me, helping me. And I can see why he gets frustrated when I quit.

But I can’t help it.

Even now, in my late 20’s (gawh I can’t believe I’m in my late 20’s already) all the things my parents have said while I was growing up still haunt me. I’m trying harder to push through it, but I think as long as I’m here, near them, I won’t be able to be push through as hard as I can because in the back of mind, they’re still there, putting me down.

Be careful to what you say to your children growing up. You might think they should know better, but they don’t and the things you say and do might still haunt them for years to come.