It’s a funny thing, family. You’re born into it without a choice. Depending on the matter of opinion you’ve either chosen your path and parents before entering this life or it just happened to be like that. Within any family there are lessons to be learned. The struggles you might have to conquer with them will bring you a step further to your truth. You might feel a deep connection with your family or you might feel a bit of an outsider. But at the end, your family doesn’t define you. It is you who defines your family.
I consider myself lucky having a big family. Even though half of them aren’t even related to me. It wasn’t until after my parents’ divorce that my perspective on family shifted. The social standard of mother, father and children fell apart and I ended up uncontrollably losing and gaining family members, all within a few months. I lost the mother figure as I used to know it and at the same time I opened up my life for other people filling that void. Every single one of them has somehow filled up a part of that what I had lost.
I gained myself 3 more brothers whom I consider to be nothing less than that. I’ve got myself some true friends whom I consider to be as much as family to me as the ones banded to me by blood. I found the love of my life and with that I found myself at the beginning of starting my own family.
You don’t have to share the same blood to be family. Your family are those from whom you know you can always count on them. It are the ones that will never leave your side, no matter how you might’ve misbehaved. It are the ones that doubtlessly follow you into your hurricane with an unconditional love. It are the ones that pick up the phone if you call them at 3 AM in need of their words. It are the ones that make you realise that you can be homesick for people too.
Surround yourself by those who make you happy. As said by Michelle Blessing; rather than simply defining family by a dictionary definition, everyone should look to define a family by his own standards. You can have several families in your lifetime, even several families at once if you choose. Regardless of how you choose to define your family, whether it is traditional or unique, you choose your family the way it works for you. As the saying goes, “Family is what you make it.”
Please feel free to share your experiences, they might be an inspiration to someone else. What is family to you? Have you created your own or are you bonded by blood?