Monday, February 6, 2017

Family

Most of us who hear the word family typically think of blood relatives far and near.  I think of friends.  Of course my mother, brother and close kin are included in the mix, that goes without saying, but I have acquired such a tight knit band of chums, both old and new that I can honestly call them family.

I've always made friends easily, but after I came to California and sewed my wild oats subsequently falling apart, making friends took on a whole new meaning as I chose not to return home.  As I crumbled post rebellion, it became harder and harder to move forward in life without true human connection.  All the pals that I had made were just that - pals.  People to hang out with at a party, folks my own age that were too absorbed in the drama of their own lives to be able to make much of a difference in mine.

Enter John, my acquired uncle.  We met at Walgreens whilst standing in line one afternoon; I was in a tough place in my life, he had a soft heart and a friendship was born that continues to this day.  Then came a few other amigos that have stood the test of time, with whom I have walked through some pretty rough and tricky places.

I am always making new acquaintances.  The flux at turns widens and thins, but has always been a steady stream from whence I can choose who I'll confide in and who I won't.  Thankfully, I've never wanted for security within those acquaintances because my sacred inner circle has always been there - the meat and potatoes of my existence, so to speak.  This constant has given me the confidence to stick out my neck and meet new people, knowing that a web of love and support will always be there to carry me.

I am grateful to have a plethora of folks in my life that qualify as kin, people that despite my flaws and shortcomings love me for who I am.  So the next time you're feeling  lonely, remember that family comes in all shapes and sizes so pick up the phone and cultivate yours today :)




Thursday, February 2, 2017

Here Comes the Bride... Some brief thoughts on marriage

I've dreamed of getting married for as long as I can remember.  A hopeless romantic, I idealized love throughout middle and high school (who didn't?) and when I found it at 16 during a trip to Italy, I was floored.  I had found the man of my dreams, in the country of my dreams and wasn't I lucky?  After finishing high school, I moved to the boot to be with him and complete my schooling.  Things didn't go as planned, and I ended up leaving 5 years into the relationship.

For the next 15+ years, I met and dated many men (not all of whom I'm proud of) in different situations and for various reasons, that all shared one common denominator:  in my mind, each was potentially "The One".  Blinded as I was by my own longing to be with a man, yet so naive and immature at the same time, I didn't realize that true love is not a fruit one just casually picks off a tree and eats.  Fueled by fantasy, the Hollywood ideal and familial dysfunction, I was on a quest to marry and isn't it ironic I never did?

I know of no one who wanted to tie the proverbial knot more than I - it's what I was consumed with day and night - yet it has eluded me my entire life thus far.  To be fair, I've had a lot of ups and downs, many twists and some hideous turns that have hurled my journey and my headspace in an entirely unusual direction, that haven't exactly made it easy for me in the betrothing department - but that hasn't stopped me from trying...  We don't always do what's best for us.

So where am I now?  Having just recently broken off an engagement, I find myself, strangely, in a good place.  Despite the pain and nausea of heartache, I've realized what love really is and what it's not.  I can't say it any better than 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

May you love.