I am incredibly grateful for SO many things in my life. But instead of telling you what they all are (none are shocking) I want to focus on one that is a little more unique and has played a very important part of my life this year.
I am so grateful for my family. I’m not talking about my obligatory nuclear blood relatives. Most people are grateful for those, but I have a little different perspective on that. I’m talking about my chosen family.
I hear the argument all the time that family is family- you can’t choose your family- you are obligated to deal with these people because they are family. I adamantly disagree.
Every person on Earth has to earn the right to be in another’s life. There’s no default. The biological aspect of love is very interesting, and complex. I have found that while I love my parents in a biological sense, I don’t like them. I don’t see them as good people. And I only allow good people into my life. Unconditional love for family is a wonderful thing, but loving someone does not give them the authority to bring negativity into your life. And even if you love someone, that does not mean that they have to be part of your life. Family is a choice.
I have learned over the past year the true meaning of family. The people who surround you and lift you up, support you, and love you in the most pure, kind way. Who do things in your best interest (sometimes this is infuriating- I’m not saying it’s all roses and kittens). Who love you just as you are. Who would do anything for you any second of any day of the year. These are the people you can have an intimate relationship with and be completely vulnerable. These are the people you can trust with your heart and your dreams because you know they will handle you with care, and help make your dreams come true.
Ginny, Kevin, Jenny, Lilly, Orjiugo, Stacie, Mindy, Danielle, Rachel, Sarah, Kimmy, Molly… I am so grateful for your love. Having a wonderful partner and this many brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and parents is so very fulfilling.