So-and-so doesn’t like so-and-so. Your cousin don’t like one of your aunts because she said something rude to her mother. Your grandmother never talks about your other aunt because she ran away in spite of the family’s concern and scrutiny and got married but you’re mom told you that was over a decade ago. It’s like the drama never ends and it’s all built on the endless cycle of miscommunication turned grudges and regret. It’s passed down from generation to generation and the family just can’t seem to get out of it. That’s what I like to call family ties and it’s as messy as messy gets.
It’s gradual but undeniable. It’s like a coming of age moment that you can’t quite put your finger on but it’s happening and you can’t stop it. It starts to make sense but it’s also depressing at the same time.
You really can’t pick your family but no family is perfect. Everyone has their family issues. There are generational curses. There are things that no one will ever talk about. You know what I’m talking about. Those hushed stories swept under the rug. Those brief moments you peeped that things just didn’t seem right when you were younger. Now you’re older and your eyes are opened about your family history. It confirms what you thought you knew, what you really know and why your family is the way it is. It’s gradual but undeniable. It’s like a coming of age moment that you can’t quite put your finger on but it’s happening and you can’t stop it. It starts to make sense but it’s also depressing at the same time. You finally start to see the world for what it is- full of people you grew up trusting but who you never really knew in the first place. That image of that person you used to look up to and see in such a positive light is now tainted. Now all that mess that your “crazy” cousin was yelling about doesn’t sound so crazy anymore. It’s a huge shock and hits straight to the core.
Even the adults will compare their life when they were your age 30ish years ago to your life right now. It’s all stressful and if you don’t know who you are, you can get lost.
Another bad habit when it comes to family are the comparisons. If you come from a Caribbean family like myself you have experienced how insensitive we can be to the female body when it comes to weight. If you gained a few pounds, you’re too heavy. If you’re going through a rough time and lost weight, you’re too skinny. If you changed to a healthier lifestyle, started working out and eating better, you’re told to stop exercising and eat more because you’re losing too much weight. It can even be about your hair or partner choice. Or it could be your career choice and asking a million questions about where you work, what are you’re doing now, why you didn’t go the traditional route (doctor, lawyer, nurse), how much money you’re making, what your life plan is and this is all with an underlying condescending tone and look. You know that tone and look. If you have a big family, expect comparisons to your siblings and cousins all the time. Even the adults will compare their life when they were your age 30ish years ago to your life right now. It’s all stressful and if you don’t know who you are, you can get lost.
If you were born into the church like myself, your eyes are opened even more now. You begin to question your religion and if you even believe in it.
Then there are the people who do one good favor for you and hold it over your head until kingdom come. Isn’t the whole point of family to listen, support and love one another ? Why do something just to tell everyone about it or to have one up on someone ? The doesn’t seem like family to me.
If you were born into the church like myself, your eyes are opened even more now. You begin to question your religion and if you even believe in it. You start to see that the pastor you grew up listening to every weekend for years isn’t so perfect. You start to notice that glare you get as you walk by some deconesses as they whisper and judge you. That elder that always throws shade at you for your clothes being too short by laughing and pulling down your skirt. That “uncle” who always wants to hold your hand or touch your thigh a little too long when talking to you.
Lastly, there could be issues with your relationship with your parents. The two people who made you. Who are meant to love, support and protect you no matter what. Be your cheerleaders for life. Even they mess up sometimes. I’m not a parent but it looks confusing and stressful. There’s only so much they can tell and do for you. Then it’s on you. Maybe it’s a listening to each other issue or your parents have issues between themselves and it’s affecting you. Maybe you feel like you’re not the favorite. Maybe they can’t provide for you like the average parent is supposed to and you resent them for it. Maybe they can’t buy you the latest stuff so you can’t keep up with your friends so you feel insecure. Maybe they love you too much so they shelter you. Or they’re afraid of losing you so they give you too much freedom and now you’re lost. There’s so many ways it can go.
Our generation has so much more opportunity to live the life we deserve because we have more freedom to be our authentic selves. However, it will be a challenge to convince the generation before us that this is even possible because they’ve never seen it for themselves before.
At the end of the day, everyone’s shit stinks. No matter how much you wipe it, wrap it up and tuck it away in a corner. It will always find its way back out again and it’ll smell worse than before. The only way to survive the doubt, discouragement, being misunderstood or even ignored is to focus on writing your own story. We are in an age where the standard of living is evolving every single day with technology. Our generation has so much more opportunity to live the life we deserve because we have more freedom to be our authentic selves. However, it will be a challenge to convince the generations before us that this is even possible because they’ve never seen it for themselves before. This is even more new to them. Probably something they’ve never imagined. We are here to create the lives we want. Whether it be entrepreneur, influencer, entertainer, model, actor, etc, we are here to follow our happiness and passions and get the chance to see where it takes us.
We are here to break generational curses, broaden our horizons, take control over our lives and inspire each other.
No matter how scary, we place that above being comfortable and regretful in hopes of making our dreams a reality. We are here to break generational curses, broaden our horizons, take control over our lives and inspire each other. To change the traditional perspective on what we can make out of this crazy life. How to move past our past and how to mend our relationships with others without judgement, ignorance or arrogance. No matter what your interests are, there is a community out there for you. If your family isn’t there for you, their loss. You can’t pick them but they don’t make you.