Diamonds are said to be a woman’s best friend. Everlasting though they might be, they are certainly no substitute for great conversation, understanding, support, comfort and that loving feeling only others can provide for us. But we hear (and know all too well) that friends come and go, so we are told that family make for the best of friends, linked to us til death do us part.
Now i’m not saying family is ‘better than’ friends, per se, after all, where would Carrie Bradshaw be without Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda by her side? But what I am saying is sometimes, for a myriad of reasons, we miss the people right in front of our very eyes, who have known us since day one, not realizing that they can make for the best friends of all.
For me, two of my first cousins are my closest friends, a friendship years in the making. So innate, so well-rounded with the knowingness of one anothers lives, stories, history and very being. But family goes deeper than cousins who might be in your age group. It goes as deep as befriending your siblings, your siblings spouses, your siblings children, your grandparents, and most importantly your parents. We often title these beings as family, writing them off as friends, but those who are closest to us, who know us down to the core, who are basically borderline stuck with us, are those who deserve our undivided attention the most. Who would give us theirs too, if only we let them in.
It often takes us losing a family member to realize just how important they are. Every day is a new day though to take your relationship with those most important to you to the next level. Think you and your sister don’t see eye-to-eye? Start looking for commonalities, instead of that which annoys you. Use these commonalities as an excuse to further (or re-establish) your bond. Cut off that voice over your shoulder that says “It’s too late.” It’s never too late to start anew, to develop a friendship that should have been developed in the first place.
In the past couple of months, I have spent more time than ever with those in my immediate family, and I’m so thankful to have developed such a closeness to each and every one of them, in such a pure authentic way I didn’t even know possible. I thrive off of that in which I can give to them, and that which they give me in return.
Instead of engaging in your usual work or advice chat with your parents, or the to-be-expected superficial talk with your siblings over Facebook chat or iMessage, or saying you need to go visit your grandparents (then not really ever following through) instead take the time to give them your time. Make plans, bake for them, meet for a coffee, treat them to a meal. What we give is what we get back. The more you give, the more you can feel. Give to those and drink up the encompassing feeling of love that comes your way in return.
– Jenny Jen