I’m sure this was the first thing that your teachers said to you, but if they haven’t, let me be the first to say “Welcome back!” As we usher in 2018, we remember 2017, which was supposed to be the best year ever because everyone seemed to have such a tough time in 2016. Personally, 2017 was a better year for me, but I’m really hoping that this new year brings more good times and opportunities.
I wrapped up 2017 in Las Vegas with my family for winter break. I consider myself to be a family person. I’m incredibly close with both of my parents, their significant others, my brother, my sisters, and my cousins.
One thing is always important to remember: when it comes to families, we all have our dysfunction. I found myself thinking that my family was crazy during the break. We all went out to eat at an Italian restaurant on Christmas. My first thought was: “Who goes out on Christmas instead of cooking a nice meal?”
Almost everyone in our family was at this dinner—my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my mom, and my brother. That meant many different conversations going on across the table. It also meant that we were the loudest people in the restaurant. I kept finding myself shrinking in my chair out of embarrassment. People were staring, and I’m almost positive that people complained.
After dinner, I got into the car with my mom and started complaining about how annoying our family is and how embarrassed I was by their dinner behavior. My mom expressed disappointment in me. She reminded me that every family has its quirks and no family is perfect, but that’s what makes ours so special.
After my mom told me this, I found some strange peace. I have always loved my family, but this reminded me why it’s important to love them in the first place. We may not always have good people in our lives, but we will always have our family to fall back on. No matter our family story, it’s important to love them and be there for them.
As our holiday season comes to a close and the school year continues, I encourage all of us to take a moment to reflect on why our families are important to us. I also encourage all of us to reach out to family members and remind them of a good memory that you have shared with them.
It is my firm belief that families define us, and that knowing love and support is always there is important. Regardless of your family background, I hope everyone enjoyed their break.