recently i have been thinking about what is family and who and what you include in your family. now maybe because i am a lesbian who grow up in the 80’s and 90’s when gay people had little to no rights and where not accepted the way we are now that i have always seemed to have a more fluid definition of family. some people say your family is only those people you are related to via blood or marriage. but that is not my definition of family because i have two. there is the family you were born into and then the family you choose and create over the course of your life. now there are some people who are part of the family i was born into and part of my chosen family. but i am more than willing to believe if you piss me off enough i will remove people from my chosen family, no matter what binds us. i include my good friends in my family, why? well i want to, but also because one of my biggest requirement for me including you in my family is that you are supportive and up lifting. i am no longer willing to accept people being a huge part of my life who put me down, are unsupportive and make me feel worse about myself. i have been through a lot in my time on this earth and i refuse to waste one more second on people that make me feel bad or less than them. i have a huge put peeve with people who disguise their insults with humor, i enjoy a good laugh and myself can be extremely offensive but i don’t attack or insult my loved ones. i want people to smile and laugh and walk away from being around me and think “i had a great time”, not “i hate being around her”.
my chosen family includes many different groups. i consider my best friend, Gracie, and her husband my family and i am honored their kids call me aunt jes. i get irritated when people say oh but your not really their aunt. the fact is i am, i spoil them and love them just as much as i do my brothers daughter. and what Gracie and i to included in our family should be of no concern to anyone. is it hurting others, damaging the kids, no. i am simply another person in their lives who loves and supports them. i also consider my cat, bear, my family. i spend more time with her than anyone else in this world, she helps me stay positive and happy when living alone. she is also my best friend in many ways, our nightly routine involves me turning all the lights off (she follows me into the bedroom), taking the comforter off the bed, then going to brush my teeth (she often sits on the toilet while i do this) then i go get into bed and she jumps up flops over next to me and we cuddle (i give her belly rubs) until i fall asleep. when i am sad she cheers me up, if i cry she licks the tears off my face and if i am stressed she sits on me to force me to calm down. there are not too many human friends i have that comfort me in so many ways. so if i consider her family what the hell does it matter to you. it doesn’t but i have some people in my life who seem to take great offense that i love and care about my cat. in many ways maybe if they stopped caring so damn much how i view my cat and just care about me and my life we would be a hell of a lot closer.
so in conculsion i shall say i have chosen my family and i have chosen to include many people that might not be included in a traditional view of family but traditional is one thing i am not. but if you want to define your family in only the traditional way that ok too. i am very much a too each his own kinda gal and i wish more people in the world were too.
I agree. I think the definition of family is changing in society as a whole. It's no longer just the mom, dad, and 2.2 kids. Now there are grandparents, 2 moms or 2 dads, single parents with friends who have active roles in the kids' lives, and step parents that expand families infinitely. That shows me that while it's nice to say family is blood and sticks together, that it's not always a given and in some cases it can actually be worse to “stick around”. Family to me is as you said, people who uplift us. Love us unconditionally. They fill our cups rather than drain them.
I wrote a lot just now but anyway, I'm just glad to not ony have you in our lives but in the kids' lives as well ❤