Is it really that scary?

Evan - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Is It really That Scary?

My own personal philosophy, a philosophy I strive to embody everyday, is “live life with your front door wide open.” I know that sounds a little vague, but let me try to shed some light here and tell you what I mean. To me, this particular philosophy means striving to live each day without snap judgments or preconceived notions that inevitably push you away from new people, new ideas, and new experiences. I came to live by this philosophy without even realizing it because I personally grew up in a house with widest of wide open doors.

Through those doors flowed dozens of neighborhood kids on a daily basis, each with their own unique experiences, stories, and races. The only thing any of them had in common when they first stepped through that door was their need for some support and a little guidance. From there things naturally progressed and many of those kids became a permanent part of my family. I have one biological sibling, but thanks to my parents die hard devotion to this philosophy of never building walls that keep people out, I now have six. Of my six siblings two are Vietnamese, one is black, and three are white. Although the colors in our family vary a lot, the personalities and backgrounds are what truly make our clan so unique, so diverse, and so ridiculously spontaneous. There is really never a dull moment at our homestead , and that’s just the way I like it.

People often times have trouble understanding my family and how it came to be. They assume my parents were “cereal adopters” or foster parents, it’s a much easier way to make sense of the unfamiliar situation. Our family is so unfamiliar and alien to most people because many people cannot even fathom the idea in this day and age of living without the many walls, literally and figuratively, that they have come to feel so secure and safe hidden behind. Most people don’t just keep that front door closed, they keep it locked and bolted, with a bat next to the bed just in case.

I have only become the person I am today and accomplished the things I have up to this point because my parents had the courage not to lock that front door. They decided not to cringe in a corner and keep out the big bad world but rather embrace it, and through that open door came the people I have come to know as family. These people were different than I was used to, people that I could have easily judged and stereotyped. I could have easily let the societal wall that stood between me and these people, who were clearly different, keep them away. Luckily for me, my parents chose to live life with their front doors wide open, because if they hadn’t, I’m sure I would only be a hollow shell of the person I am today. That is what I truly believe.