Visits home to see family usually require me to turn into a deaf mute. 1) Because who doesn't have a family member who likes to rant about what sister didn't pick up the slack, or complaining about life in general and 2) I have learned growing up as an only child in a large family that if you don't want others dissecting your life it's better to give them as minimal a picture of you as possible.
Me being the odd ball of the family, I rarely discuss what goes on in my life, as I know it will be pulled apart, analyzed and crushed to the size of pea by the time the said individual is done. So this past weekend was no different. I was glad to see everyone but was very grateful to be on the Amtrak train heading home. How the topic came up about the age old mantra of "your family will be there for you, your friends won't", I have no idea, but it got me thinking about the many variations "family" can have. There's the family that you are born with, the one you didn't ask for, complete with flaws you never knew existed until you are old enough to comprehend it on your own, the one that no matter how much you change and grow, sometimes refuse to see you for who you are as a person verses trying to force you into a box to fit their emotional needs.
And then, there is the "family" you make. I don't just mean finding a counterpart and beginning a new generation, but any group of people that you know would be in your corner, minus the blood ties. I've had an equal if not greater contribution from the second group over the past couple of years in ways that I could never imagine. It's the friend who in the dark of night insisted on giving me cab fare to the hospital when I thought I needed to go to the emergency room..and me getting groceries for her when she had been ill for a week and lugging them up a fifth floor walkup. It's the friend who listens to me from over 3000 miles aways and eagerly awaits what new thing I will find in old dusty boxes, and is never too busy to return a phone call. The friends who came all the way from Brooklyn to help me set up my first apartment...that was alot considering I could rarely get them out of the borough . :)
That's family too...but then again I never was a square peg so maybe my views are a little different.
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