happy holidays to my “family” (slightly rantish)
To be completely honest, the concept of family doesn’t mean shit to me. Everyone is always telling me the only families worth being like are perfect in every way, that there are more perfect families than you think, and every member of a family loves each other deep down, even if they fight.
That is bullshit. I genuinely dislike most people in my family, and would like nothing better than to never see them again. What’s more, I am slowly realizing that plenty of people -as in, a lot of people- feel the same way. My thought is this: why try to cover up dysfunction with lines like “Oh, I’m sure you care about each other deep down” or “It just seems worse than it is because you’re upset” ? First, this doesn’t solve whatever problem is at hand. Second, it forces it inward and undermines it as illegitimate. Third, I personally find that this is fear of actually disliking someone you’re related to disguised as wishful thinking. Maybe I am one of few, but I don’t think that everyone is fundamentally good. I think everyone is fundamentally human, and probably an asshole for the most part with a few good moments that make things passable. My family is in no way excluded from this notion, obviously.
And why should family be defined as it is, anyway? Mom, Dad, kids that love each other. When a mom, dad, or kid goes missing from this equation, or shows up elsewhere, what are we supposed to do? Ignore it, say your real family is better? Would be better if it existed? I can’t tell you how long I thought I was less -legitimately less of a person because I don’t have a real relationship with my dad. I can’t tell you how long I thought I was fucked up for life because I didn’t “have a strong male family figure to identify with” and might be prone to “act out” or be “emotionally unstable.”
No one should feel that way. No one should be told to feel that way. My point is this:
Family is not…anything that people like to think it is, really. Parents aren’t always mature enough to be supportive of their children. Parents aren’t better straight, gay or otherwise. The number of siblings isn’t better at 1, or 20, or 2. Your “family” doesn’t always end up being the people you’re related to. Maybe you already know this, but I just want to have the chance to say to whoever’s listening -that’s alright. My friends are like my family. The orchestra is my family. My teachers, my mentors. These are my real parents, people I can rely on when I need to. People that criticize me in a way that is constructive, and don’t put me on any sort of pedestal below or above who I actually am. People I’ve known for years and will know for years.
People that I can trust. Who know my weaknesses, and wouldn’t judge me for them. Only answer them with kindness, optimism, and a hug.
And even this family isn’t perfect. We all are mortal, or whatever.
But when there’s no more stress to call on us, and the break is here, and I have time to appreciate my family…it’s not my father, brother, even mother that I’m thinking of.
I’m thinking of my friends. My fathers. My mothers. All the people that are good to me…I’m thinking of you.
Happy fucking Holidays.