Family. Six letters, three syllables. We all have it in some way, shape, or form. Some people say it’s the people who are there from birth until death do you part, amen, forever. Some people say it’s the people who support you and love you. Both sets of people are right, of course, but the fact is that your family isn’t just what they have in mind– that the group of people who buy birthday cakes and hang your picture on their wall don’t have to be the people who share genes with you. In fact, the people who are consistently and regularly there for you are rarely the people who share genes with you. It’s something you learn as you grow, but family comes and goes with the tide, constantly redefining itself and its contents with each new experience and lesson learned.
There are some people who would have you believe that if you don’t love and respect the family genepool you are surrounded with, you’re a monster with no feelings and heart. That if your mother isn’t your best friend by the time you’re twenty four, suddenly you have no idea how to love, and you start getting weird pitying looks from people who exchange sympathetic glances to other friends over your shoulder, glances that say, “I know, right?”. But not everyone is blessed with the All-American dream of a suburban mom who makes cookies and has well adjusted rules and regulations according to your age and your behavior. Some relatives are just shitty, and you shouldn’t apologize for not liking them.
There are more people who support you than the people who are supposed to, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to trade poor support for something even better.
So maybe your family isn’t made of the people who live with you. Maybe your family just happens to be the group of people you never would’ve talked to were it not for the fact that you all serve lunch together. Maybe your family is their family– their younger but taller brothers who look nothing like them, their smaller and younger sisters who look exactly like them. Maybe you were always meant to find these people, these little slices from Heaven’s pizzeria, people who don’t quite complete you on their own, but all together form a really beautiful puzzle that warms you up inside with love and affection. And who cares if those people you share genes with don’t love you when there are so many other people who do?