04 December 2014

The Family I Have. The Family I Choose.

Every adult I think has a moment when they realize their parents are just people. They don't have founts of secret knowledge. They can't make everything better. Parents are just people like us -  trying to do the best they can with the resources they've accrued. There is no "right time" to make this realization.

Everyone recognizes their parents' mortality at different points in time and as the result of different circumstances. The realization can come in a moment. Or it can have a slow reveal extended over a series of events.

My parents' mortality - their ordinary human weakness - became clear to me in February 2014.

February 2014 

01 February 2014

My first order of business in February was to take a quick trip to the east coast to "straighten out some things." I have a large family. It's grown significantly over the last few years. But for an even longer time we were just four: my parents, me and Derek. We have existed as our own unit despite everyone who has come and gone. We worked in a beautifully complex way, until we didn't.

I'm the peacekeeper. I think it's a role I was literally born into my family to play. I'm practical. I'm level-headed. I hear the hurt the others are too prideful to admit and I address it. I'm a good peacekeeper. And when my brother and my parents had problems in late 2013, I kept the peace from the other side of the country. I told my parents I'd visit as soon as I could, and I did. But it wasn't soon enough.

Words spoken in anger are still words. And words are forever. Their impact is far reaching and long-lasting. I've seen this enough time to believe it absolute. My parents are a different story. They've conditioned each other to the point of delusion. They had a volatile relationship that reinforced the idea that at the end of the day, everything would always be forgiven. It's possible watching them repeat the same mistakes with each other taught me the opposite. I don't think it's okay to allow anyone to continue causing hurt. Because fool me once and all that. 

The attention I'd get if I were an iPad.
My parents feel very strongly about family, and in the ability of family to forgive. My brother and I feel differently. Push us away and we will not come back for more.

My parents and my brother had what I'll call strong differences of opinion. They all said things that are unforgivable. Three wrongs do not make a right. And there are some things not even the best peacekeeper can repair. I feel as though - while they struggled to hit with the sharpest barbs - they pierced, punctured and basically popped my family balloon. I went home in February to gather the stretched and wilted rubbery remnants. It was exhausting.   

09 February 2014

When I got back to SF, I needed to relax. So I started boxing. And when I say I "started boxing," I mean I got a Groupon for a gym and took some beginner classes with Paula. Though the effort was strong, the intensity was lacking. The sad truth is that my peak fighting days are far, far behind me.

I also needed love. So I had a dinner party with some of my favorite people. It's amazing how restorative laughter can be. We didn't cover any new ground, or solve any problems, but we were present and loving.

I had an allergic reaction to something that caused me to accuse my pals of trying to kill me my face to swell. But it passed in time for dessert.

10 February 2014

Important thing about me: I religiously partake in pub trivia. We first went sometime last fall and since then it's become a ritual. The trivia team members have changed but here you see league founder Lisa. Isn't she darling?

I enjoy trivia because it's like a dinner party where no one has to cook. You find out a lot about what people know and how they know it. You learn to appreciate things that you previously thought unimpressive. I assure you Lisa's love of art history was never more highly valued than it was around the trivia table. We have another friend who has intimate knowledge of the periodic table of elements. It's proven invaluable.

16 February 2014

I'd like to use this very unglamorous picture to introduce you to two of my most important SF friends. Cate the Reporter and Xtine. We keep each other sane and keep everything else in perspective. We brunch. We have conversations consisting of emojis & memes. We dance. We wear tights.

The night before this picture was taken, we had successfully thrown a surprise party for Cate's BF Jarad. It had been a team effort and we owned it.

It took me years in SF to make these two friends and obviously they were worth the wait. I mean just look how well we throw together a brunch. We're amazing.

17 February 2014
Trivia League Finals

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