I learned something important about myself last night. Well, not so much about myself as much as about the people in my life. Blood isn't always thicker than water. The word 'family' doesn't always mean relatives. Family are those people who love you, support you when you are down, are happy for you when you are happy, accept you for who you are, don't judge you, and most importantly, you can be yourself around them and fully enjoy their company! All I can say is I have some friends that fit the family bill better than my family does. I have decided that whoever actually fits into those parameters, blood or not, are the people I'd most like to spend the majority of my time with, on regular days or holidays. Don't feel obligated to be with people you don't make you feel good just because they are related to you. I know so many people who are completely miserable during the holidays because they think they have to spend them with their parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, etc, and they end up never having a good time. Being related, unfortunately, isn't a prerequisite for having to treat each other well. Now don't read into this too much. I'm not saying I'm being treated badly by anyone, because I'm absolutely not. It's more just a general feeling of not fully belonging, feeling like the outsider looking in. All I'm saying is I have people in my life that don't make me feel that way, and they're not related to me. But that doesn't make them any less important. In fact, it makes them more special because they're not my relatives; there's no moral familial obligation to be nice to me simply because we have the same dna.
Of course these feelings do not encompass my entire family unit; there are those who love me and accept me as I am and I fully enjoy them. They know who they are! All I can say to them is thank you for loving me with no judgement or limitations. It means so much to me!