“Years ago, it became very clear that my family was my friends.”

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44247864

This is worth a read.

Pay it forward.

What goes around, comes around.

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I am who I am…

I don’t define myself by how I look, what I believe, or how I spend my time. I am not my job. I am not my religion. I am not the four years I spent getting my BS Degree in Journalism. I am not my three marriages. I am not my mistakes or my successes. All such things began as choices, bricks in the wall of myself.

I am 55 years of age, and I have no genetic relatives, except for a handful of cousins I haven’t seen in many years. Somewhere out there is an older biological sister, though she has shown me nothing but disrespect and betrayal throughout my life. To validate her would be a waste of my energy. I want nothing from her, and have nothing for her. I choose not to empower her. She is not family to me.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have family – I do. There are those in my life I can depend upon to be there for me when I need them. They are members of my Clan, and we don’t have to share blood to be related by respect, love and loyalty. We are family by choice, and we cherish one another. I pity those people who feel required to have relationships with “relatives” who abuse them simply because they “share a family tree.” I ache for those locked into relationships without hope, where love has died and violence has bloomed, because that’s what they are “supposed” to do.

Pressure and guilt does not a family make. Pull the weeds, and dispose of them. Grow your own Clan. You do not need to be alone unless you wish it.

I presently work full time, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. I wish I didn’t have to, but I am building a financial future, so it’s wise to continue. At least I love what I do, and what I do helps people.

I’d adore having loads of time to sit with my family, chatting at the kitchen table as I prepare a meal… or relaxing on a wraparound porch, watching the world go by… or casually rocking on a swing beneath evergreens, blue skies peeking through fluffy white clouds above us, with coffee and wine abundant, comparing notes, lives, dreams, fears.

There is a joyful chaos in my life right now. It feels like a water globe, one with shiny, colorful beads floating in a thick, clear fluid, rolling over and over, seeing which multi-faceted bead comes out on top for a time, until tilted again… and again. My brain is full, but I am happy.

All those of you who have positively impacted my heart over the years have become unique and priceless family members… the double-handful of people I DO call my family, and we are a household, a partnership, a TRIBE. We are a support system of love and respect for one another, and because of that, none of us need fear the future. We have one another. We are SOULMATES, puzzle-pieces which flow one into another, making us WHOLE, allowing us to meet one another’s needs. Money? Food? Emotional support? I’m there, you can count on it.

Just the same, there are those others I’ve met throughout my life. Wicked, evil, ignorant people who disgust me, who have disappointed me, who may laugh to think that they did something that caused me pain. The bullies. The liars. The thieves. The cheaters. The ones who deliberately caused pain to those I love. I count you out of my life for now, but only until the day comes when I am there to tap you on your shoulder and quietly ask, “Remember me?” as I watch the color drain from your cheeks.

But then there are others, those who may not have meant to cause pain. They are, somehow… different.

I must admit, in spite of the things that they have done, I miss them, and probably will love them forever, even if it hurts. The problem? I doubt I can trust them again. Sometimes, I ache for them… for who they were to me… for who we were to one another. Ah, such a shame, such a loss.

In fact, some of them may be reading this, right now.

Have any of you read LESTAT? Do any of you remember the last battle, where Lestat and his companions are holed up, waiting for their enemies to come… and something… someone crosses their security line… approaching them, not trying to hide… just… coming… toward them… slowly, out in the open? I wonder how many of you experienced the feelings I did, when it turned out to be LOUIS. Darling Louis, barefoot, in jeans and a sweater, hands thrust deep into his pockets. My heart turned upside-down. It’d been years since he’d seen Lestat… but he knew where he had to be when the chips were down. He knew which side was his, and why… and he was there.

That’s all I have to say.

Namaste.

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