I believe in family. I believe in Sunday night dinners, week long vacations in Long Beach Island, and spending hours finding the perfect Christmas tree. I believe in arguing over who’s been eating Dad’s ice cream directly from the container or who left the bathroom floor soaking wet after taking a shower. With family, there are many obstacles. However, it is those struggles that have shaped us through our lives.
Often times, there is great irony in the concept of family. We have no problem getting angry at our parents for asking too many questions about our lives, when in fact we would probably be more offended if they didn’t. We want our mother’s to do our laundry and cook for us when we come home, however, we scowl at the idea of a having a curfew. We want to be independent and thought of as adults, but we rely on the twenty dollars Grandma sends each month in the mail. Being part of a family is like being part of a team. Everyone sticks together through thick and thin, but it’s easy to get mad when somebody fumbles the ball.
Growing up is hard for everyone. No matter how hard we try to avoid the pressures of becoming an adult, we can’t. Dilemmas such as how many people you should invite to your birthday party or which power ranger you should dress up as for Halloween, quickly turn into which college you want to attend or even what you plan on doing for the rest of your life. As I was going through that era of my adolescence, I did not see how important my family was to me. In fact, I tried to push them away. I felt that I needed to get through all those decisions by myself and I would not accept help from anyone. As the tension escalated, arguments grew even louder and the moments of silence grew even quieter. I soon realized that my family was not going anywhere, and instead of shutting them out, I should embrace their love and support. Family means unconditional love, and my family was going to be there no matter what.
The process of rebuilding my relationship with my family was a long one. It wasn’t as if I just woke up one morning and everything was better. There were, and still are, moments of tension and frustration; but they blow over this time. Being part of a family is hard work. Each member must put in the effort; the effort to listen, to understand and to offer support. My family is kind of like an old Victorian house; the floorboards creak and the pipes leak, but it stands there tall, strong and more beautiful now then it was when first built.
It was with through these experiences with my family that I have learned how important they are to me. In a world filled with so much hatred and violence, it is hard to believe in anything good; however I still, and always will, believe in family.
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