Like and unlike

In her weblog (lkhblog), Laurell Hamilton asks:

Do you see yourself in the people who raised you? Do you talk to them and hear echoes of who you are, and who you were? Or do you look around at the people who raised you and realize that they never knew or understood you, nor you them. That you were always a stranger in a strange land, and time has not changed that.

My instinctive answer was, “Yes.” To both halves of the question.

There are extreme ends of family relations, where one wholly fits or wholly fails to fit. I think when we leave home, many of us are firmly convinced we’re in the latter. (And some, perhaps, are.)

But what I’ve come to understand, for me at least, is that family is more complicated than that. There are bits of experience we share; there are bits of experience we don’t. There are moments when I sit among family and think, “I am such an alien.” There are moments when I sit among them and think, “This really is where I came from.” Often I’m somewhere in between.

It isn’t an either/or. We are–or I am–at once very much like and very much unlike our families both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *