I spent most of high school and the majority of college being frustrated with my family. I guess that makes me the average teenager, right?
Time and distance gives us perspective on things. When we reflect on previous experiences, we grow from them. The common adage “distance makes the heart grow fonder” turns out to be true. The support of my family, constantly pushing me forward has been one of the most significant factors in much of my graduate school success.
I spent so long being jaded by the negative side of family that I did not see the benefit. The constant love, support and appreciation that exist within a close family.
And you know what? Sometimes families fight. It’s what they do. It’s what people do. They fight about stupid nitpicky things and get pissed at each other. And the fights suck and they hurt, because really who likes disagreeing with people they’re related to? But in the end when the arguments are resolved, when the dust is settled, people are brought closer together through the conflict they have faced. It’s not ideal, but it happens.
But more importantly than the fighting, the argument, the conflicts, is the love. The appreciation that no matter how you act, they still love you. They will be there to support you.
And the support I have received from my family has been so valuable. My aunt has pushed me to remember that “the only way out is through” and to consider how valuable my masters degree will be completed. My uncle has taken the time to sit down and get coffee with me and share stories and talk on the phone. My cousin has been available to text almost always, cheering for my success, supporting through my struggles and just being there.
And that’s what family is for. They’re there to love and support. They’re like friends that you don’t get to choose, but learn to love.
I love and am so grateful for my family.