11 Reasons Why Family Is Everything

11 Reasons Why Family Is Everything

And why they need to know it.
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At the end of your life, you’ll be able to look back and remember all of the people who had a lasting impact on you. You’ll reminisce about good times with friends, colleagues, significant others, and even pets. Memories from years past will make you both laugh and cry. But there will be a group of people who are sure to stand out: your family. You may not have always realized it, but they never left your side. They saw you through the ups and downs of life and loved you in spite of your mistakes. It’s key for us to recognize how important they are to us -- and vice versa -- so we can make sure to give them the thanks they deserve. So, here are eleven reasons why family is everything (and why they should know it).

1. They have been there from the beginning. Who was there when you were born? They were! They are the only people in the world who can say they’ve known you from your first day in the world and loved you even then.

2. They’ve watched you grow up. They were there for your first steps and first words. They dressed you in embarrassing clothes and made sure to take hundreds of pictures. They cried when they sent you off to your first day of school. What weren’t they there for?

3. They know what makes you tick. If you don’t already know it, I’m here to tell you that your family can read you like an open book. It’s kind of creepy. They know everything about you -- your likes, dislikes, embarrassing secrets, hopes and dreams, you name it. And they can tell whether you’re happy or sad. It’s almost like they’re psychic.

4. They’ve seen you at your best... They were there for all your grade schools plays, dance recitals, sports games … everything. They saw you graduate from high school and celebrated with you when you got into college! Life is just one big party when they’re around.

5. …And your worst. But, when life doesn’t go our way, they're still there for us. They comforted us when we were sad and set us straight when we were out of line. They’ve seen it all and always know just what to say.

6. They even loved you through your awkward phase. Yep. Braces, clunky glasses, awkward haircuts … they didn’t care. (Make sure to say thanks for that.)

7. They’ve sacrificed so much for you. Just think about all of the money and time they spent/are still spending on you. Two words: college tuition.

8. But, you can still go to them for anything. They’re still there for you, and they’re more than willing to lend a helping hand. If you ever hit a wall, you can be sure they will be there to help you get back on your feet. There’s never a shortage of compassion or understanding when it comes to your family.

9. They’ve helped you along the way. Just look at how far you’ve come since you were a little kid. You couldn’t have done it if they hadn’t pushed you to be your best. Your mom nagging you to “do your homework” paid off after all, didn’t it?

10. They’ll always have your back (as well as great advice). No matter what, they’ll always be there for you. As you continue to go through life, you’ll always be able to turn to them and ask for guidance. They’ve gone through anything and everything that might be going on in your life, so who’s better to turn to?

11. They love you unconditionally. No matter what you do. That kind of love is hard to come by, so hold it close and never let it go! (It’s not like you’d have a choice anyway.)

No matter your age or where you are in life, one of the most important things in the world is family. So, never take them for granted, know that you can always turn to them … and tell them how much you love them today!

Cover Image Credit: Chloe Kisela

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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