Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Do I Stand For?

When I shoved off into this world, I left with little knowledge of who I was and what I wanted. It was a chaotic time and much of what I had learned about life up to that point I was ready to challenge or dismiss altogether. The branches holding the family nest seemed to be breaking and all that I once knew to be true was unraveling. I had always identified myself through religious dogma, sibling bonds and family life and now it was pushed to the back of my heart as I relearned all that I valued and all that I believed. It was up to me to decide where my moral compass would take me.
Flash forward twenty years later. All that I thought was insignificant or unrelated to my step into adulthood turned out to be the very foundation of who I am turning out to be. Words like integrity and good works meant little to my inexperienced thirteen year old self, but real world experience changes Sunday School rhetoric from formulaic learning into something real and important. The world is vast and complex and navigating life means digging in with all your acquired knowledge, all the lessons you’ve learned along the way just to keep from sinking to the bottom.
The most important things I learned in childhood came around full circle and presented itself to me again this summer. I surprised my family by showing up to the family reunion at the last minute when I had thought all along I would not be able to attend. The day before we were to meet I woke up with a feeling that was like no other; a deep need to be there for this once in a lifetime opportunity. This was a chance for seven of eight siblings to be together in one place for the first time ever. So I bought a plane ticket, told no one and showed up the next day.
All I know about life I felt in these two minutes:

(Forgive the poor quality and odd angles, it's the moment that counts!)

I am part of a family and our bonds cannot be broken. Not with time, distance, hardship, or major misdeeds and wrongdoings. These are the people that planted the first seeds of my life. This is where I started.  This is how I grew up to learn the most important lessons in life. This is how I know that what I feel for my husband and children is an even deeper love. This is the reason I continue to grow. This is my history and this is what I stand for.
What do you stand for?

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to add an afterthought on this blog post. The reunion was amazing and it did solidify what I have come to know as my most important values. But these are not my only family members and not the only people who have taught me who I am. My mother and her family, my Mother-in-Law and the rest of my husband's family, particular friends from childhood and now, and mostly my boys and significant other have all shaped me into who I am and what I stand for...this was just the story I needed to tell and the way I needed to tell it today. Thank-you and love to all who have paved the way for my best life possible!