I am in Florida visiting the family I was born into. It is such a different world from what I do my best to live in. They are well-meaning people… and I have so little in common with them.
Our family reunions are toxic food served on disposables with many conversations about babies, marriage (of course only between a man and a woman) and church.
I love them and yet I feel so sad whenever I come visit. I am not quite sure why my Karma had me born into this family.
I show up with my reusable container, utensils, and mug every year. Every year I bring salad which almost noone eats and some other veggie dish which this year they liked and ate a majority of (roasted root vegetables.) Every year, I do my very best to model the solutions, and I am pretty sure I have never once made an impact on them and the way they live their lives. And it breaks my heart and pretty much makes me feel hopeless about the state of our world.
This time, I was blown away when a relative asked, “Are you dating anybody? Guy or Girl?” WOW!!! I think they are pretty much the only one in my family who is totally cool with whatever my answer to that would be. Most of the rest of my family, if they read this blog, and know that I have dated both men and women and am in favor of all people being supported in loving relationships regardless of gender, would have a problem. And I would never be allowed to bring a girl I was dating home to meet them. That is a sin and although “they love the sinners, they despise the sin.” Which translates to a huge portion of my life is not acceptable to them.
A long time ago, I let go of the belief that I “should” do anything for or with my family of origin. I have nothing to prove there. This isn’t my “work” as many people say families are often about.
I have been so incrediblly blessed and humbled to my core by my family of choice that I have met and deeply connected with over the years. My “aunties” in Northern California and my Mendocino family and my “Framily” in the Bay Area. These are the family I go to to be renewed, supported, and loved in the way I so deeply long for.
My family of origin, I love and they, for the most part, love me. Only thing is, that love is held together by a tenous string of inauthenticity. And that makes it hard for me to be here.
My immediate family of parents and siblings– we too are very different. Somehow, we make it work– probably because we almost never see each other and only speak on rare occasions. We have almost nothing in common other than blood.
I do love them all. But I feel like an alien in my family who walks around covered in a shield in order to deal with the experience.
I wish them all the very best blessings that the Universe has to offer. I wish them joy, love, peace, and health. And I am extremely grateful for when I can be back with my family of choice. They show me what family can truly feel like.
Here’s to famlies everywhere– every description, every gender relationship, every shape, form, and possibility. May we all be connected to families that renew our spirits– whether they be families of origin or families of choice.