Family Can Be More Than Your Blood
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Family Can Be More Than Your Blood

Unexpected family in unexpected places.

Family Can Be More Than Your Blood

I've heard it been said plenty of times that "blood is thicker than water," and that is a nice sentiment until it isn't true anymore. Then what? When I was faced with this same question, a friend of mine told me "the covenant is thicker than blood." Yeah, I know. Game Changer.

I mean sure, I do have my aunt who I consider myself to be close to. When my best friends seemed nonexistent, I cried and my aunt consoled me saying "well that's why I'm here" and it's true. We have plenty of laughs, we talk into the early hours of the morning when our bodies are able to stay awake that long. We revel in each other's successes and encourage each other when we feel a little lost.

I always have my sister who I constantly tell that she can confide in me. A sister who has held me in her arms as I cried because I was angry and sad and confused about the grief I felt inside. A sister who I will drop everything for in order to make sure she is ok. But with every relationship, even among family, there is always an ugly side.

If you're lucky, you'll have a couple of good friends and some family members surrounding you with good advice, emotional support, and who may even stay awake with you at all hours of the night if you need them to.

But not everyone has that.

Growing up I remember thinking, pleading with God for a best friend. I never really looked within my family, because at a young age, little nieces are annoying, and I was VERY annoying. So I looked outward and I wanted someone who will always be around and who will give as much as they receive because in most of my friendships I felt like I gave so much that when things got tough, I rarely got anything back.

I wanted someone who would go along with my weird quirkiness but would also accept my quiet, introspective moments. I wanted it to be permanent, but I was horrible at making friends, and I was a little jaded. I didn't believe in forever, but maybe that isn't the point. Maybe the point is "what am I gaining from this friendship? What have I learned? What positive moments can I keep in my life?"

If you talk to me and ask me about high school and middle school, you'll get to know that while I had friends, I always felt left out of groups. I was always at the end of the table, or who said something dorky and people joked about. I always felt like I was floating. I was close to some, but never tethered and they probably felt the same. I desired deep connections and craved conversations of meaning and dreaming. I romanticized what friendship should look like in my head, and as Shakespeare said, "oft expectations fails."

Then I was about to graduate, and I started to hope and wish that I would meet someone in college who was an English major and who would befriend me. That way I could finally talk endlessly of books and discuss how our parents probably share the disappointment as other parents whose children are majoring in an "art," but that doesn’t really happen that quickly in the English world. If I'm being honest, most of us are too busy introverting.

Then through a series of events, I had to transfer to a community college, and I joined a dance class that was a gateway into a community.

Dance has always been a way to release emotions, and at one point I was convinced I wanted to do this professionally. I watched all the movies, shows and read the books on dance. I was never technically trained but tried teaching myself. It seemed only natural to finally join a dance class. Before transferring to a university, I had been a part of this community for about 2 1/2 years. To be honest, I was scared that there would be so many girls in there that would be so competitive and mean that I wouldn’t want to be a part of it after a semester (I have endless dance movies to thank for this), but I was so wrong.

What I met was an eclectic group of people who have nothing but heart. I met a department that was welcoming of everyone who wanted to be a part of the community. Were there moments where I was absolutely annoyed with everyone? I am not going to lie, yeah, I got annoyed a lot. I often felt like I had to be careful of what I said and who I said it to.

Even in the midst of the drama, I found a handful of people who made me want to grow as a person. I met people who made me laugh no matter the circumstance, and I found a group of people I felt free to be myself around. Because although I am a dork myself, I found other dorks who came from all walks of life and trying to figure things out. Just like me.

A couple of weeks ago I went on a camping trip with a group of these outcasts/dorks/ some of the most multi-faceted human beings ever. And they surprised me. Saturday night we all reflected on our trip, and I reflected on the past couple of years. I have cried in front of some of these people, I have shown my good side, and my not so great side and they still accepted me in. I have had some deep talks with some, and have felt so supported and loved by most.

I'll say it again, they surprised me. I'm used to drama and issues, and even though we are not without our faults, I have seen them grow and I have seen myself grow along side of them too. In those moments of personal darkness, we have gathered around each other as family. When we have felt like we were orphans, our teachers were our mentors and our classmates were like our siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, making us one huge, weird family.

The point is, if you have a hobby, or love something with a great passion, I would suggest finding a community that shares that interest, because chances are you'll find family. When I joined my dance class, I didn't expect to join a family or a community, but it happened and it was a beautiful surprise.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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