Friends Are Chosen Family

With the holidays almost over, for many of us, we’ve dealt with some of the ups and downs of seeing family. Perhaps speaking to family that you haven’t seen in a few months or maybe even over the past year. No matter how ever long that it has been, we find that it’s the holidays where we deal with family the most. It doesn’t matter how close or distant that we are with them, it’s the combination of too many holidays over a short period of time. But what I found most interesting wasn’t the conversations or food. What I found most interesting is that family isn’t about being related. It’s about the relationships that we choose to have with people.

Some of the closest people in my life don’t share a last name with me. Yet they have been through most of my ups and downs. As I sat with fourteen relatives I realized that I had nothing to say to these people. They knew nothing about my life. Let’s face it, I made it that way. Mostly because I got tired of their busy-body attitudes and constant gossip, so for me, I chose to keep many of them out of my world. The other half of my family knew somewhat more, but not a great amount. It wasn’t that I didn’t want them to know about life, but rather they didn’t really understand my thinking. I had spent an entire evening with family that knew very little about each other. Outside of three or four relatives, I felt like I was sitting at a table of strangers. We didn’t have that close connection and then I thought about it. My closest family is my friends.

Friends are people that we choose to have in our lives. We may not share ancestry, but the truth is blood wasn’t thicker than water. I always thought about having a family of siblings that I was close with in life, however that never happened and I found myself dreaming about other’s lives. It may have been the reason for why I began writing in the first place. I remember a great movie called While You Were Sleeping. I often feel like that the movie was made just for me. It’s probably the best depiction of hoping to find that family connection, but with someone else’s family. That feeling of the holidays were everyone has great cheer and continued relationship even after the holidays have settled in until next year. The truth is that having those types of relationships can outweigh whatever we go through in life. Not just during the holidays, but every day. We may not be blessed with the best family, but I read a great quote to that is meant to live by: “The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them and others you don’t, but in the end they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into. And sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.” 

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