Day 32: The Definition Of Family

My crisis from the last three days seems to have subsided. There is sunshine here and temperatures that are conducive to snow and ice melting. The one thing that really hit home the last couple days of struggling through on my own is the importance of having a tribe.

I used to think that family meant a mom and a dad and some kids. It was a very rigid outline of what a family “should” be. I have a mom and a dad and some brothers and sisters, but they don’t feel like family very often. Growing up how I did meant that I had to use a lot of walls to protect myself and that meant not letting people into my heart. I never really felt safe in my childhood. It has resulted in a really fractured relationship with my parents. My ideals and values are very different than how my mom and dad see the world and I am not longer willing to accept that into my life. It doesn’t feel very good. My brother has chosen to stay in that environment and instead of helping change perceptions he is getting pulled in deeper and deeper. With the divide increasing with my parents, my brother and I have also suffered, and grow further and further apart.

I have always been looking for a family and a home. I have always felt homeless. It has nothing to do with a house and all of the trimmings, and everything to do with the people in life. To me, family simply means a group of people that take care of each other, where there is love that can flow freely, where people can be themselves. A family provides a space where the players encourage growth and the creation of the best version of the individuals in that unit. Families are close in heart, even if not always close in proximity.

Creating a family unit when you are older is really, really hard. As I navigate through life, I have had to adjust my expectations for what a family should be. I do have a family. It is made up of some phenomenal friends that are spread all across the world. I have people that I know I can call on if I really need help with something. I have friends that I can go to if I need a shoulder to cry on or if I need some tough love. It isn’t what I pictured a family to be and a lot of times it means I am by myself, but I am grateful for the people that I have in my life. They bring love and kindness and amplify the best parts of me. They encourage growth and take care of me in the moments where I really need it.

It is within the hearts of these people that I find myself at home. ❤ ❤

Image by Sue Brady from Pixabay

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