Whether it’s by blood or not. Family is family.
We can all define family differently. Some of us include really close friends in our inner circle we call family. Some of us strictly stick to blood.
Either way. Family influences us, listens to us, values us, and unites. The family is a pod of people who have similarities that pull together and differences that make us each unique. I come from an amazing and unique family, I am creating a crazy little family and I have a couple of amazing friends who are considered family.
Traditionally, Italians are close AF. We take sticking together to a whole other level. So you can imagine what my family felt and thought when I decided to move out west to start a subset family of my own.
In the moment the idea of leaving them never really phased me. The fact was, the internet changed the idea living so far away, and Skype made coffee dates a reality despite the distance. On top of that, I was in my early twenties and realistically I wasn’t thinking about much other than myself.
Hindsight is such a weird thing. Now that I am a mother of three, hindsight often rears its ugly head. I try really hard not to be one to look back and question…as I really strongly feel like I make decisions in the moment to build a better me, even when I make mistakes. Every once in a while though, hindsight pops up.
My parents. I know they were happy for me when I moved and I know they see how happy we are in our life here now. We live far. We live like 5-hour flight far. My mom. Hindsight. I wish I would have taken some time to talk to her about leaving. I didn’t. I was just living in the moment. Then my brother followed. Double blow to my mom and dad.
Italians stick together. It’s like this weird unwritten rule. You don’t leave the nucleus.We did and in hindsight, it’s still the best decision I made but as a mom, more then ever, I know why it’s important for me to visit home and spend time with my family.
Cousins are more like ‘born to be best friends’ in our culture. Hindsight. UGH. I wish I would have been more reflective of their feelings about my leaving. I just didn’t think about it. I figured they would come visit me and I would keep in touch via text messages and myspace. Slowly but surely most of them went on to live their lives and so did I.
Cousins in my family…we were together every weekend. Through the good, the bad and the ugly…my cousins were there. They share memories of a past that are so precious and beautiful. A past that makes me, me. So I reconnected and have made the effort to ensure I do more than just send an update on my life every once and a while. Almost weekly now…. I listen. We chat. They share. I listen. I give advice when it’s asked for. I ask for their input. I make an effort. We remember and we lean on each other.
But the fact is, I am so far and in difficult times it’s so hard to be away. I have to find creative ways to be a support system, an ear, a friend, a daughter. I try and so do they.
So this season…maybe there is some family out there you have been meaning to connect with but haven’t had the chance. Why not? We can’t honestly give a good reason most of the time. But here’s a good one, you never know what tomorrow brings. So pick up the phone. Send them a text. Write them an email. It’s going to feel so good to hear and connect with someone you love. I promise.
Gift yourself time to be present this Christmas. It’s better than any THING you will get this season.
Sending my love and thoughts this holiday season to everyone back home,
till the next post,