I’m not very good at family bonding and stuff.
I’ve been watching Fuller House, which is excellent by the way, delivers exactly what us Full House fans have been wanting, and while I know it’s television and I highly doubt that many, if any, families solve their problems with heart to hearts and hugs on the daily, I still wish that I could say I “hang out” with my family.
I complain about not having friends all the time, but my sister lives right across the hall. We’re ridiculously busy and don’t even see each other every day, but she’s usually awake when I get home at night and I could go sit in her room and talk to her. If I want to see a movie or try a new restaurant I shouldn’t view going with my family as a last resort because I don’t have anyone else, I should be looking to spend time with them first, and then look elsewhere if they’re busy.
People say that friends will come and go, but family is forever, and I used to completely disagree with that because in high school I was a strong believer of “friends are the family we choose” … but here I am, graduated, back in my parents’ house, and where are those friends? (They’re in the same city, actually, frequently hanging out with each other and just have decided I’m not worth their time. But this post isn’t about them).
This morning I had a very interesting conversation with my dad, he was telling me stories about his family when he was younger, and I learned a lot about my grandpa and aunt and uncles that I never even knew. I loved listening to my dad talk about them, he was just lighting up at some of the memories, and that’s when I realized, I don’t think I have ever asked my dad about my grandpa. I knew that he died before I was born, and that was really it, it never crossed my mind to learn about him as a person.
I have a half sister, and I don’t talk about her much because we really don’t get along, and I think that makes my dad sad and I don’t want to make him sad. But I saw her last weekend, and while we still didn’t get along super great and she kind of annoyed me, my mom pointed out that it was probably very hard for her because while my cousin was telling stories from when my other sister and I were little, my half sister wasn’t there for those, so she kept telling stories from when before we were born, and my cousin claimed he was too small to remember half of those, and things got kind of tense and awkward so the storytelling ended.
But I guess my point is that I know my dad had a whole other marriage and kid and life before my mom and my sisters and I, and by not talking or asking about that it somehow makes it seem taboo, or wrong. But it’s not, that’s just the way that things turned out. So in the same way I feel left out when my half sister wants to talk about life before I was born, she probably feels left out when I talk about things that happened when she wasn’t with us.
I’ve had a few projects in school where I’ve had to call my oldest living relative or speak to a grandparent and ask about the family history, and I know that going far enough back we were slaves, and I was supposed to write a paper about how my great-great grandparents overcame slavery and made a better life which led to the great life I have today… but me being me, I didn’t write about that.
I wrote about how I did not understand the paper topic, and that I couldn’t relate to a single thing my ancestors went through because I am not a slave, nor have I ever been, had I been a slave I would not have lasted long because I would have screamed “pick your own damn cotton” and been killed…and my ancestors being slaves did not give me the life I have today. My dad working hard, getting a great job, and having a house built in a St. Louis suburb and my mom quitting her job and staying home to raise me gave me the life I have today.
My teacher gave me an A, but in his comments he said he still thinks the family history had an influence on my personality. Whatever. Maybe he’s right.
Either way, my mom is really into ancestry, and I’m really not, at all. I don’t care where I came from. I don’t care that I’m black. I’m not meaning to say I wish I was another race – I am saying that race/ethnicity/nationality doesn’t matter to me at all. If I ever get famous, I don’t want to be known as the first black person or the first woman to do something. Hopefully by the time I get there, so many black people, women, and black women will have done it that they won’t even mention that part. I just want credit for being great at whatever it is.
My best friend Cameron asked me last night why I want a boyfriend so bad, and I told him I’ve always wanted a boyfriend because while they say family is forever, it’s not. You have your family until you turn 18 and then you go off on your own and eventually start your own family. So I’ve always wanted a boyfriend so that he would turn into a husband and I could start my family. That being said, I never thought I would return home for anything but holidays once I turned 18.
So now I don’t know.
Who am I supposed to be spending my time with?
What am I supposed to be doing?
How does one figure that out?