The most important thing in my world is family.

Like many, when my bad days seem to outnumber the good, it's my family I turn to. I turn to my mom, my sister, my two closest friends, as well as a few family friends, all of whom I consider my family.

Once, I had a friend who used to go back and forth with me on the definition of family. To him, family was blood — plain and simple. In his eyes, if you were blood-related, you had a duty to each other, even if you didn't know each other.

As noble as this idea is, I disagree. In my eyes at least, family are the people who love you unconditionally. They don't walk away from you at the first sign of trouble. They are wholly and completely committed to being a positive part of your life. Your family accepts and loves you for who you are, despite the differences you may have (because everyone is different and will disagree at some point).

Your family chooses you as theirs.

They don't have to be a part of your life from birth for you to consider them your own. In reality, I lean on my mother, sister and friends more than anyone else when it comes to a support system.

Because I was adopted, I learned pretty quickly that you can choose your family. You have the power to choose who gets to be in your life. You can build up positive influences around you, and you can remove toxic and useless people from your life.

This may sound harsh, but let's break it down:

Is the person in your life there for you? Do they offer you support, or do they tear you down (behind your back or to your face)? Do they listen and offer you support? Do they make an effort to be around you? Are they manipulative and mean? Do they even like you?

The fact is if they don't act like family, and there's really no chance of them treating you as such any time soon, then you don't need them in your immediate life. Of course, there are some people you can't just cut out, but you can keep them at arm's length.

Either way, you have the power. Take control of your inner circle and strength. Live your best life surrounded by the people who want you in theirs.