The True Meaning Of Family

The True Meaning Of Family

Family isn't just blood related.
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As I left the nursing home, where my birth mother currently resides, I was angry. I’m always angry when I see her, even though it's once in a blue moon, and only because I have to. You see, the nursing home is just her current scheme to gather attention and pills. It’s a vicious cycle with her, where she moves from one plan to the next, yet somehow always accumulating those two things. And then eventually she gets tired of it, and moves onto the next.

Currently, she wants to move out from the nursing home into an assisted care facility, where she is “independent.” Tensions are always high with her, but I was just extra angry leaving today. As I arrived home, my stepmother, Holly, was able to tell I wasn’t too happy. I usually just return home and shrug it off, and continue on with my life. But today, I shared a moment with my stepmother. She pulled me aside, and she just goes “We’re your real family.”

I pulled her in for an embrace and said into her ear that I love her. “We’re your real family.” Indeed she was. Indeed she Is. She is, and her soon to be eight year old daughter is, too. Because family isn’t just blood. Family is the people who you love, and love you. I mean, yes my real mother gave birth to me. But I think truly loving someone and being family has more than a physical aspect. There’s a mental, and emotional aspect to it. It’s about a bond.

A family member is someone you love and someone you can count on and that is always there for you no matter what. Blood does not define that. We all have people in our lives that are family. Your best friends, your family friends, the ones who look over you. Perhaps you have a best friend who practically lives at your house, or a step-parent who has taken you in as their own. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who love and care about me, and I’m lucky enough to call them family. I think in the crazy twists and turns of life, we often forget the meaning of family. We also often forget that family isn’t just blood.

The most influential people in our lives are our family, actually related or not. In the midst of my anger, I realized it was silly to be upset. I mean, yes my birth mother is aggravating and challenging, but at the end of the day, she is just another crazy life twist and turn. My real mother, and my real family, is sitting right beside me, supporting me every step of the way. I hope that you too, can sit back and relax, and take a second to remember who your true family is too, no matter what the situation is, blood related or not.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Smith

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Thanking the People I Could Never Thank Enough

Never forget to thank the most slaytastic people in your life.
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This week, I went through the experience of a nervous breakdown. Stress that had built up from the previous week built up, and I ultimately succumbed to it. What I did realize in the midst of it, though, was that I have some pretty amazing people who love me. For that, I am eternally grateful, and I wanted to show them just how much they mean to me with this article.

Thank you to the people who never once questioned me.

This week, I questioned myself a lot. My innermost workings consisted of "what could I have done better in (insert here)?" But it was in the people that I surrounded myself with that never questioned who I was or what I did. It gave me a glimmer of hope in the midst of the darkness.

Thank you to the people who had my back.

I know that I can be a lot to handle at points. But there are people who have stood by me and never once said that I was too much. In this time, they were essential for being the light that got me out of my own long tunnel. As humans, we don't exactly know why people come into our lives or for what reason, just that they do. It makes me incredibly happy to have the people that saw beyond the outside mess and were willing to still love me.

Thank you to the people who intervened and got me help when I needed it.

I didn't know it when I was in the situation, but my breaking down was a desperate cry for help. I know now that the people who did this care so deeply about me. I am fortunate enough to have those friends that pulled me aside and said they would get me the help I needed.

Thank you to my haters for being my motivators.

Only kidding, just figured the people reading this would need a break in the sappiness.

Thank you for those who did not judge me when I was a mess.

I only saw myself in the mirror once over the course of my stress induced meltdown. However, when I did look in the mirror, I saw what a hot mess I really was. For those who did not judge me, I am so forever grateful. You built me up in moments when I felt low, and I cannot thank you enough for doing that. I am so lucky to have the friends that I do.

Thank you to the people who encouraged me to take part in some much needed self care.

In this day and age, it is so essential to do things because you like to do them. For me, my self care involves watching Gilmore Girls, painting, and sitting at the piano and just playing. When I do these things, the world around me becomes less intimidating.

There is so much more I could say, but it would take more than an Odyssey article to do so. I love you all.

Cover Image Credit: wallpaper.com

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A Letter To The Mean Girls In High School

You're not as cool as you thought
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Dear mean girls from high school,

How are you? I hope you're well, but not that well. I'm writing this letter to tell you a few things.

We spent our days passing in the high school hallways, sitting in class together, and sitting near each other at the long, dirty, sticky lunch tables. You used to be my friends. Little did I know you were the complete opposite. It's funny how the people you think you're closest to are the ones who are actually your arch enemies. I know this now, and I thank you for teaching me how to spot your breed in college, because now I can avoid wasting time on people like you.

Luckily, you didn't make high school all that bad for me. You just helped me find my lifelong friends. I hope you found people like yourself at college, and have realized that talking about people and spreading rumors is actually not that cool. You can't even put it on your resume so what's the point? It's even more funny to look back at this now, because their way of life is totally changed once you get to college. It's every mean girl's worst nightmare. There's no friend group that's more popular than the other, and people don't have time to waste on trying to impress you to make you like them. People like you fed off of that feeling in high school, and now you're starving, because no one's going for that kind of bait anymore.

I can't sit with you? NO problem.

In reality, no one is better than anyone else, and that is something I learned as soon as I walked up to get my diploma in that cap and gown, and I hope you guys have learned that by now too.

You don't like my outfit?

My hair is curled badly?

Well, you've just waisted some precious oxygen and time by saying that, and have also waisted some brain power by even bothering to think it because quite frankly, I don't care.

I am a firm believer in what is called Karma, and that right there is what helped me laugh off the whispers I constantly saw, or the conversations I overheard discussing your plans for the weekend, which by the way, didn't involve anything exciting. I can guarantee those snapchat stories you put up made it look more fun than it seemed. I've been a part of it before, and your type of friend group does not know what fun is.


It's always hard to criticize the mean girls, because hey, they're perfect right? Kidding. It's hard to criticize you because no one really knows what's going on at home, or behind the scenes. Most girls like you cause problems, start rumors, and fail to make others feel comfortable in their own school environment is because of your own insecurities, and I'm sorry about that, but please stop making us confident people feel otherwise.

I hope now that you have experienced a bigger college environment and have realized that it's not always going to be you standing over a high school of 500. In the real world, not everyone is going to know you by name, and not everyone is going to go out of their way to say hi to you in passing. Because in reality, no one wants to waste their time on people who don't really care about them. I know I don't.

Well, it's been nice. See ya never, from yours truly,

Devyn

Cover Image Credit: msmojo

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