You may be able to tell this from reading past posts, or just from knowing me, but family is really important to me. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am if it weren't for my family. I will always hold them closest to my heart, and would drop everything to be anywhere for them in an instant. Growing up you don't realize how lucky you are to see these amazing people every single day. And growing up I wished I didn't have to sometimes. Looking back I hate to admit that, but I'm not going to pretend every day was carrot cake and pool fun. Everyone has growing pains. But I see so clearly how fortunate I am now that I wake up everyday without any option of seeing them. Photos help. Facetime helps. Phone calls help. But it's never the same. We will never be 5 people living under the same roof again. And although I'm very okay with that, I do fully see the unique opportunity growing up gave us.
People often talk about their "work family" or their "friends as family" or common with CRPs and CPs, their "Florida Family." We grow and move and change and create these bonds with people who are incredible and wonderful and we form very close friendships. I am lucky enough to have created friendships and met people dear enough to include me in these 'families,' especially being so far from my own.
I work with some absolutely beautiful people, with huge hearts and goals, ambitions and smiles. We have a wonderful time together, and it's good, because we also spend a ridiculous amount of time together. We spend so much time working that we almost have two lives, our work life and our home life. I spend more time with my colleagues than I do with my boyfriend, or my friends, combined. I know that's the way of the world, but isn't it interesting? You spend all this time with these people, day after day, week after week - all so that you can have a little extra time and money to spend with the ones you love. The ones you choose to spend your time with. I'm lucky that those I'm designated to spend time with are great. I know everyone isn't that lucky.
Florida is full of transplanted people. Not many people I know are originally from Florida; therefore lucky enough to have their families down here as well. Due to this, many friends circles turn into a Florida family - the people who are there for you down here. I have some friendships that I depend on a lot, and I am so thankful for. I can't believe the luck in finding these other people who understand me and love me just the quirky way I am.
Francel is one of the few to be a Floridian, and although his whole family isn't here now, they do get the chance to be together more often. The love in his family radiates off all of them. Nothing makes Francel happier than getting to hang out with his family. And I completely understand why. They have the strongest bond, the greatest time together and are all in love with each other, all so proud of each other, and always there for each other. I've been blessed to be welcomed by this incredible family and I know how lucky it is to love your boyfriend's parents. There is no way you couldn't love Francel's Mom - her joy for life is contagious. There are no words for how amazing it feels to be a part of this family.
Then there is our family. Our family of two. The beginning, the nucleus of a new family. One surrounded in the love of all these other families, growing closer and stronger, laying down roots for our future.
I miss my family. I'm sure that's abundantly clear. Everyday I know that I'm missing Clo and James growing bigger, or Carrie's latest vegan recipe. I'm missing ice cream with Grandma and wine with Grandpa. I'm missing life lessons with Gar and Kim and playing with the dogs with Dad. I miss everything about my Mum.
What it comes down to is working everyday to make missing all those things, worth it. Its pursuing my dreams. Getting up after every misstep. It's knowing that my family, all of my families, support me in making everything I've ever hoped for come true. It's in making the right decision, not the easy decisions. And working hard. every. single. day.
I know not everyone has the best relationships with their families, I haven't always. But I do know how lucky, how blessed, how special it is, to have the love and support of such incredible people.
I am so grateful for all of my families, for all of the people who take a piece of their hearts to care about me. Thank you. I love you.