Now that I'm back in the UK … family means something different. I'm so far away, horrifically homesick (for the people, not the place) and I'm aware of just how much is going on without me. Pretty sure I’m going about this the wrong way, but I don’t know the right way exactly...
So, here it is. I'm really struggling with my Mums new family, because mostly they're ignorant, arrogant, entitled little shits. (Yeah, I just went there). As I'm processing this, and coming to terms with the idea that perhaps they have a completely different understanding of what family is, of how to be respectful, and not emotional stunted (still going there, yes) I've been hearing a lot of 'You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family'.
So, here's the assumption. We’re family…. should we be tight, and on good terms? That’s the assumption, right? That whānau should be part of each others lives? Should be respectful, and welcoming. Loving. Stable. I think as a premise, that’s the one I’ve be conditioned to. You don’t get to choose your family. You don’t get a choice. You suck it in when things aren't rosy, you smile and you make the effort. Even when it’s a whole new family filled with people who are really good at making everyone else unhappy.
So, I can't choose my family.
I can't choose my parents, I don't get to choose who my parents love, or have chosen to be their new families. I can't choose my extended whānau anymore than anyone else can.
You know what I can choose? Right now, in Zee, I'm choosing my own immediate family. I'm choosing him to be my family. (Sidenote: this is a new idea for me, so if you're not as blown away by this as I am, that's probably to be expected).
It's kind of a new concept, up there with moving in together (which we're doing. At some point. Right now we're still in Zee's tiny too small room in a flat share with flatmates who like to watch lots of reality tv). Since I moved out of my old flat, and we've travelled and now the plan moving forward is to… well, be together. In him I'm choosing my own family. It feels like a revelation.
I'm pretty sure I've chosen good, too. I'm not saying it's all roses (is it ever?) but if I'm choosing my own family? I'm glad it's Zee.