In the getting better people chronicles…
It’s taken me 31 years to realize that a)not EVERYBODY gets to have the privilege of being in my life and b)SOME of those people are family.
I’m different. I don’t say that because I am some special little butterfly. It’s just that I like to tell the truth. And this is it; I have, somehow, developed a very different way of thinking and behaving than most of my family. There’s nothing wrong with how they or I think or live–we’re just different.
The problem with this is that I am by nature a very family-oriented person. My family–not so much. So while I have gone through hell, high water, and embarrassment to try to stay close and appreciate my family–I don’t really think it’s a mutual thing all around.
I do have a few relatives who read this blog, and y’all know I’m not talking about you. Generally, though, I’ve had to just realize that I’m not going to consistently have family interactions of the quality that I hope for and move right along with my life. It’s hard. It’s something that is an ongoing process and I just have to do it if I am going to continue living life fully. But it’s hard.
After 6 years of living abroad, not a single blood relation visited me.
Most of my family has any real idea what I do for a living now or what I have been doing.
I’m pretty sure most of my family doesn’t remember how old I actually am.
I’m certain my own mother doesn’t know when my birthday is.
I could go on and on, but the point of this post isn’t to bitch and moan about family and what I feel they should or shouldn’t do. That’s none of my business, we’re all grown, and honestly, there are very real challenges and reasons explaining all of the above. (Not saying they’re all VALID, IMO, just that there are reasons.)
I guess the point of this post is to say that I am coming to terms with not having a storybook, fairy tale, suburban, stable, loving, supportive, consistent family. That’s not my life or my blessing.But I do have a family, and I’m fortunate to be in contact with many of them and friendly with some as well. Sometimes you don’t get what you want in life, and you have to go ahead and work with what you HAVE. You also have the option to create some of what you want, and that’s where I’m headed, I think.
I’ve been blessed with very good friends who have become like family. I’ve been with good relationships with some family members, and developing ones with others. I’ve been blessed with the wisdom to know that some people’s insistence on behaving in ways that are only detrimental to my life and spirit is not my fault, and I’ve been blessed with the strength to bounce those people to the outer circle of my life, blood ties or not. And I’ve been blessed with a lot of emotional resolve and healing through this process of figuring out how to progress from here.
One thing that’s startled me is that, in coming to terms with my own family, I’ve discovered that I want one of my own. For years I wanted nothing to do with marriage or having children because the whole topic seemed like a mine field of pain to me. But as I come to terms with what my family is and is not, I’ve realized that I really want to get married and have a family, and have all along. I want fat babies and domestic bliss. And I am okay with that and believe it might happen. It’s not a painful thought, anymore. Sometimes you have to release childhood disappointments to have adult hopes. And my adult hope is for a healthy, happy family of my own. Not a perfect one–just a healthy one. A supportive one.
Trust me when I say it’s amazing that I can say that with a straight face and no bitterness.
Anyway, that’s my 0.02 for the day. Believe me when I say that I hope to one day have children who can sympathize with the sentiments, if not the utter cheese of the video below, and won’t be writing maudlin blog posts like this one(or whatever passes for it in the not-so-distant future).