Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Where I Come From

I live in Winnipeg. It's a beautiful city that I never really understood until recently. This is home. 

But this post isn't going to be city-centric. I want to talk about where I come from, not in a geographical sense, but from where my soul comes from. Where the nittiest, grittiest, parts of me come from.

It all started with two people. My parents shaped me into who I am. Growing up, I was taught independence. My parents were never explicit about it. It was subtle. Looking back I can see exact examples of this but I never knew it at the time. We were encouraged to solve our own problems, be tough, suck it up. Move forward. Did I hate my Mom sometimes when I told her I had a tummy ache and felt icky and she made me go to school anyway? Yes. Do I value her for not listening to my whiny excuses and pushing me to my limit? Yes

I was bullied. Yup, that was a thing that happened to me. I had very few friends until the 8th grade. How did I deal with it? I cried. A lot. And tried to fake sick. But my parents made me go to school, and they stood behind me and would get involved if I ever needed them but I wouldn't let them. They taught me to solve my own problems. I learned to be strong. I learned to be with myself and enjoy my time with myself. I learned to stand up for myself and for what I believed in. I learned to speak up. It's a priceless gift I've been given in this life. Most importantly, I learned not to value myself based on others' opinions of me. This is something rare and while it may have taken me a long time to learn this, I'm so glad I did.

There was a lot of love, but not a lot of affection. It's just a thing we don't do in my family. Sometimes I hug my sister just to make her incredibly uncomfortable.

That is the face of a girl who wants me to stop touching her

We don't touch; it's weird, but not to us. How do I know my dad loves me? When he cracks jokes and makes fun of me. How do I know when he's mad or unimpressed with me? He's normal. We are a strange, wonderful family. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Which is probably why this best describes me:


This isn't to say we don't show affection when it's really needed. Got dumped? Hug from dad. Failed a test? Awkward head pat from sister. 

Anyone who knows me now, knows that I seriously value my space. I love my friends and being social. I love being in a relationship. However, I will always need to do me. I will always need space to grow on my own, and do things on my own, and have my own adventures. I rarely ask for help. And I thank my lucky stars every day that I was given a family that supports me the way they do to let me branch out and do my own thing.

It's not just my parents that helped shape this but so many other members of my extended family as well. I have some pretty sweet relatives.

In the end, my heart will always be my home. No matter where I am, who I'm with or what I'm doing. If I can remember where I come from and what shaped me and listen to my heart, I will always be home.

** PS I chose to do Tuesday's post today, and skip today's all together!

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