I really hope this will not cause me to stress (but it will,) or hurt my other relationships (but it also will.) This lurking voice of the past in my head (and, apparently, in my parentheses) keeps saying otherwise. I fully intend that, like most other deeply personal details, no one outside my close friends will know about this. I have gotten quite good over the years at deception of this sort.
My family does not play a large part in my life. It is not due to some childhood trauma or anything like that, it was just the way I was raised, and when I got older, the result of some decisions I made about who I am and who I will be. I believe the family you are born with is always the family you have, but as you get older, your friends become the family you choose.
We were never really close as a family. Two generations ago, my mom's side of the family had like eight children. Mom was one of three, and there is only three of us. Dad's side was even smaller and a much goofier story. We have never had any sort of large reunion, just the occasional vacation to visit the relatives here and there. The biggest I can remember is when one of my two second cousins was married four or so years ago. And really, everyone is pretty happy that way, I believe.
And, as I am getting older, there is this constant internal struggle to better emulate the positive qualities of my parents, while expunging the negative traits I do not like in them that I (constantly) see in myself.
An oddly appropriate anecdote is that all three of us kids have grown up in dread of inheriting Dad's hearing loss. It's bad enough all three of us wear glasses, but to have to always wear the hearing aides, and that constant quiet high-pitched whine* they put out, now that was worse. We discussed it in those rare get-togethers we have had since we grew up.
It was only last year or the year before that I mentioned this fear offhandedly to Mom. She looked at me funny, and explained that Dad's hearing was damaged due to a childhood illness, not any hereditary factors. I was floored. We had all believed it for so long, it had become a part of our lives.
When it comes down to it, I am a lot like them, and not always in the good ways. This goes along with my previous rant about growing up and becoming an adult. Not that I have an answer now either.
I just wish my predictions were true a little less often.
* - I note the irony that since we could hear the high-pitched whine his hearing aides created, that proved we didn't need them.
MP3: Concrete Blonde, "Roxy"
Quote: "There is no fucking CO here." -Willard, Apocalypse Now