"Family is fate, but it is also a choice" - Part 3

"Family is fate, but it is also a choice" - Attica Locke in The Cutting Season

"May you live in interesting times" - Chinese Curse

Living in interesting times as we do, it seems inconsequential and downright selfish to talk about my personal heartbreaks. It seems wrong - criminally wrong even. But these mundanities are what allow us to deal with the restlessness of the age we live in. Without the ordinary, we would not stop reeling from the force of Real Life all around us. It would drive us to the edge of madness. 

I am living in the here and now. And this is a lonely place. I have struggled with my identity for years. I feel like I have a right and duty to identify with my roots, but I no longer feel their pull. I feel like a flower drooping at the edge of a stalk, in the home stretch of wilting and disintegrating into a mess of petals, no longer feeling the hold of its roots, not belonging to the plant that birthed and reared it anymore. It is a sad moment in the trajectory of your life where you are loosely bound to your origins by lukewarm guilt and nothing more.

This is why you need anchors. 

Your family, a part of your fate, destiny, kismet, what have you, is an anchor. They hold you in place with all the strength in their bodies. They protect you in storms strong enough to wash away every last reminder of your existence. They enable you to hold your ground, be your own person, they let you go so you can find your own way home, knowing full well that you may never choose to walk that road again. 

And then there is the other family. The family you choose. The family you have the power to assemble around you. Friends. Kind friends that stand behind you like pillars, emerge like expansive islands when you are floundering to stay alive, struggling to stay afloat in an ocean ravaged by tides that have turned against you. They come to you not like hope, because hope is dangerous, it can elude and delude you. They come to you in the shape of a solemn promise, an oath that won't be broken. They protect you when you are most vulnerable. They let you cry without argument or reason. They let you grieve. They let you vent. And they let you celebrate your happiness. They are simply...present.

I don't know what I did to deserve such friends, but they have saved me in more ways than I can describe. They are my chosen family, and for reasons I cannot fathom, they chose me as theirs.