Sunday, October 16, 2005
What makes families different from people we just like to hang out with? Mostly I think the difference is that members of a family really and truly need each other.
I don't need the family I grew up with anymore. I've grown past that, like we all do. And they certainly don't need me. But now I'm starting to realize just how deeply a few of my friends all depend on each other. Not your stereotypical
idea of family, to be sure, but we've found each other and I'm finding it hard to imagine who I would be without them. Just like how having a husband or wife and children starts to define how a person thinks of him- or herself, this great group of people is starting to become a pretty important part of my world and my self.
Sometimes I'll be over to Pants' place and if I see some dirty dishes in the sink I'll just go over and do them without even thinking about it. It just seems perfectly normal. And if I'm not feeling comfortable in some social situation, or if I just want to sit and look at the wall for a while people don't mind.. they don't try and get me to act normal if I can't do it at that moment. We all accept each other for our strengths and weaknesses, and to the full extent of our characters.
And I love you all.
Perhaps this is a rather traditional Chinese view on family, but your friends are connected to you via common interests. It's more of a periphial sort of connection. On the other hand, family is a deeper connection. . . I guess the saying is blood connection or genetic connection. Using this as a guide: your friends help define who you are at this moment. Your family define where you came from. Regardless how you feel otherwise, the two really are not interchangable.
I have several good friends that I will do stuff for that may seem extrorderary and they are like family. I don't find I have much in common (interest wise) with my real family. It's not like we are dependant on each other either. However if anything happens or if another family member needs help, I'll always be there regardless of my personal situation. I will really far for a really good friend, but there are things I will do for family that deep down I can't do for friends.
And I am closer to my stepmom than I ever was with my real mom....
I'd rather be out with friends that put up with family. Which was part of my original point, friends are people you CHOOSE to be with.
The heart of my point was you can't discard family. Family isn't based on need, they're just there. A sister doesn't stop becoming a sister when you don't need her anymore. When my dad and I have a serious falling out, ditches my sister and I, then calls a few months later saying he's in trouble in a big way, it doesn't stop me from helping him even if it puts me in financial debt or worst. Would you do the same for a friend that just did the same to you?
I have really good friends. They are like family, if you want to call them emotional family that's fine. I usually think of them as my adoptive family. I'm just saying they're not the same as real family.