I was never very good at science and math, my specialty was in the arts, history, and english (like many a young gay person). So maybe it should come as no surprise that when it comes to family, blood and chromosomes don’t necessarily hold as much weight to me as compassion, support, and love do. Unfortunately for many, family does not go beyond their genetics, the birth was the first and last act of parenting, and blood is the only connection to siblings and distant relatives. we joke about the hassle of keeping up with grandma (when some of us would just rather just keep up with the Kardashians), fuss over family reunions, and dread going to holiday gatherings like it’s jury duty, but we’re still expected to support those who may not support us solely based on the fact they are kin.
Well, I’m here to tell you water CAN be thicker than blood. No, no you’re still thinking like a scientist, believe you’re an artist, that you have a blank canvas in front of you. Create the world you want to live in, incorporate all that aims to crush you, transform it, and end up with a masterpiece that is all your own. Can’t you see it? Your life surrounded by friends and loved ones who care for you, who genuinely show concern over your well being, not because they feel obligated, but instead because they love you as much as you love them.
This isn’t to say you should run away, running away never really solves anything, but don’t stand by just to be stepped on. You don’t need to give all your positivity and love into supporting someone who doesn’t give a damn about you and isn’t willing to seek help. Give a damn about yourself, only then can you really help others. Kindness and love come when we least expect it, so hold on to that, cherish it and don’t let those who treat you well slip away. Family does not just mean a mom, a dad, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence. Family is a single mother trying to support 3 kids while working 2 jobs, family is 2 unmarried men in love adopting a beautiful little girl and caring for her deeply, family is a group of boys unrelated by blood, but brothers in every sense of the word, family is deciding who you want to surround yourself with in order to create a happy and safe life.
You’re an artist now, you don’t have to be limited by labels, old archaic standards, and unrealized dreams. YOU can define, you can create, you can live… feels liberating doesn’t it?
Photo Credit Daniel Hartwig