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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Microstory 944: My Family

I’ve had a lot of struggles in my life, and despite countless opportunities to be better, I’ve wasted nearly all of them. I had some behavioral issues when I was younger, which we now know was partly due to my autism, but that’s not a very good excuse in my case.  I’ve mentioned the classes I’ve failed, but never really gave you any numbers. I still won’t, and I can tell you it’s never been enough to keep me from graduating, but it has cost money. My job search was even worse. I finished college in 2010, but only really found a good fit about a year ago when I found this position I have now. Yet through it all, my family has been there for me. They have repeatedly given me extra chances, funded my doomed endeavors, and received little return on their investment. My father is an economist, and works as a human resources consultant. He’s taught me so much about how business and how the market operates. I’m a pretty simple guy, who sees a lot of excess in the world. Without his lessons, and constant guidance, I would be so confused and lost about all the things most people take for granted, like how insurance works. My mother is a crafty financial advisor with an unmatched capacity for compassion and understanding. I can talk to her about almost anything (and do). She gives the best advice, because she not only gets how the world works in reality, but also how I see it, and how I think it ought to work, which is decidedly different. My sister is my best friend, and like a third parent for me. I needed a lot of help when I was a kid, and still do. She helps me organize my thoughts, and tackle challenges. And she has had to support me financially as well. I have a bit of resentment for shows like The Originals and Supernatural, which teach you that blood relations are everything, because that is not how I was raised. I think ours is the preferable option, since those people are consistently dying, and even killing each other, yet that hasn’t happened to us even once. You absolutely can choose your own family; maybe not as much when you’re too young to fend for yourself, but certainly when you get older. Even though my real family happens to be related to me, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that. I’m related to a ton of people neither I care about, nor who care about me. I’m sure you’ve heard the idiomatic expression, blood is thicker than water. You’re probably using it wrong, though, because the original phrase referred to blood of the battle versus water of the womb, which makes a level of sense, because what other water might it be talking about? The water of friendship? I wasn’t born with a lot of privilege, but instead acquired it later. My parents didn’t have it easy when I was born, but the three of them worked their butts off, and by extension, I benefit as well. Without them, there is very little chance that I would still be alive today.

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