June is never an easy month for me. It hasn’t been since I made the selfish decision to move away from California 6 year ago; every year I send my daughter back to spend time with her dad. Not just a week. The whole summer. It was the agreement for this selfish decision.

It use to upset me. To be told I ran away and that I was being selfish. I put her first and everyone else first. I had put myself last. That had to stop. So I used a sell of house to finance my future. One persons definition of selfish is someone else’s freedom.

None of this has been easy. From the first few months of struggling with school and her making new friends, to her crying because she missed her dad and her friends; and me repeating that I did the best thing I could for us. We still struggle. It hasn’t been easy. Her anxiety became real and tangible. My anxiety was real and tangible. I questioned myself and my decision making abilities a lot. But she has grown and overcome. Just like I hoped she would. I have been to therapy. She has been to therapy. We both came out of it realizing we are a lot stronger and to trust ourselves a little more.

Everything I did I did was to move us forward. To move me forward. I packed that u-haul with everything we owned, I pepped talked the hell out of her and me. I remained stoic and positive. I was exhausted; mentally and emotionally beat up. I was told I was lazy and I just didn’t want to find a job. People’s words have a way of sticking with you and those words pissed me off. Anxiety held me back sure, but so did trying to be a mom.

Now when I get told I am selfish or arrogant I can’t help but smile. I have said thank you. It took me a damn long time to get here. To get that place where I stand my ground and stand a little taller. If being selfish is how you want to look at it, then you are looking at it all wrong. Selfish for me is confidence, a little arrogance, mixed with fear and a whole lot of self belief.

It’s years of listening to someone run my life and letting them. It’s years of being told what dreams I could follow and what dreams I shouldn’t. That’s on me. Letting someone else have that much control. My anxiety still makes me second guess some things in life. I learn to breath and let it go. I don’t need to have that much worry in my life any more.

It has made me harder. I am more independent. I am a little more selfish, but I always can look myself in the eye at the end of the day and tell myself I did the best I could.

6 years.

I think I am failing every day at being a mother but I am assured by those who love me still that I am not. I think every mother feels that way. At the end of the day I am just trying not to raise an asshole. I think I have done pretty good with her. She has more determination than I give her credit for because I still want to protect from life. That may be a little selfish. I also want to see her get out there and kick its ass. That’s selfish too.

June is hard. I will cry because I worry. I will then go into her room with a trash bag and a box. I donate any clothing I know she hasn’t worn and I throw away the trash. I will get her new bedding and hang up shelves. I will put it all away so it eases my worry and anxiety. So I can open her door and remember how it will be when she comes home. It will clothes on the floor and chocolate. Tea cups left on her end table. It makes me crazy but brings me comfort. I know she will come home tan and full of attitude.

And I will be here. Cleaning her room, taking mini road trips, hanging out with Craig and our friends and family; and being a little selfish with my time.

It’s a good thing. 6 years of growing and figuring out who we are in this world. Learning being selfish is not always a bad thing.