I am someone who prides myself on being close to their family.
My family is everything to me, and I enjoy every second that I get to spend with them. I am lucky to have two parents who have been happily married for twenty-nine years and have done everything in their power to give my sisters and me a charming happy life. Both my parents grew up as only children, and because of that, they knew how important it was to give their children siblings. My parents also understood the importance of spending time with their children, whether that was dropping them off at school or taking family vacations.
I know I am loved every day.
I was also lucky enough to have my great-grandma always in my life as someone who watched us when our parents couldn't. I am also forever grateful to my sisters who were always there as role models and best friends. My one sister Christy, despite being six years older than me, has always been my best friend. She always made time to watch D-Coms, play American Girl Dolls, obsess over pop stars, and hang out with me whenever I wanted. Growing up with this great support system taught me many lessons and made my life easier.
Here are 7 lessons that I have learned from having such a close family.
1. Family is more than just DNA
Family consists of those who have done things for you and what you have done for them. Family is showing that you care for them and why you care for them. It's showing up to all your school functions or bringing your parents lunch. It's showing up not only when necessary, but because you want to.
2. Saying "I love you" matters.
My parents and sisters tell me they love me every day. There has never been a day in my life where I haven't heard that I am loved and it is one of the things I am so grateful for in life. Many people don't get the privilege of hearing "I love you" from their loved ones, which is why I treasure those words every time I hear them - even if it's for the billionth time.
3. Loyalty is everything.
One thing that my parents taught me early on is to be loyal to your loved ones, especially to your family. Loyalty is always putting your family's needs and interests first before others, even your own desires. It's standing by their side through all the rough times and defending them when needed. It's always having your own small army always ready to defend.
4. Never be embarrassed by your family.
As a kid, I use to be embarrassed about how involved my family was in my life. As an adult, I realize how lucky I was to have them showing up to everything. This is why now I'm always pointing out my parents or sisters to my friends. I am also always open to how much we communicate and how much time we spend with each other.
5. Your family is human, too.
One thing that I also learned is how important it is to realize that your family members are people, too. It's important to realize that they aren't perfect. They will say things that might hurt you in fights or might forget about things sometimes. In the end, they are people, too. No one is perfect, especially your family.
6. Make sure to set aside time to be together and apart.
It is very important to have boundaries with every relationship, including those with your family. This is why it's important to set time apart to watch shows that you enjoy and do things that you enjoy. It is also important to set time that you spend with your family especially if you live with them because you don't want it to feel like you just living there in passing.
7. Every family is different.
Just because these lessons are ones that I use every day doesn't mean they will work for your family or your future family. Every family is different, and some families are chosen. Even with your given family, you have to actively choose to love and be part of that family.