Family. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. In all honestly, I have never appreciated my family more than right now at this very moment. I have been away from them for only two months now and it has helped me realize what a home truly is. A house is not a physical place at all in my mind. Home is truly the people you have in your life that love you unconditionally. While living away from my mom, dad and grandparents I can hear all their advice whirling around in my head when I am going about my daily routine; Especially while walking alone at night or when I am buying groceries.
“Be patient. Be aware of your surroundings. Work on having a budget. Take care of yourself. Don’t let the water run. Use your common sense. Make a new friend everyday. Be kind to everyone you meet.” I used to look at them and nod my head as if I was listening, but it turns out their wise words of wisdom stuck with me, and boy I am forever grateful they did. I would not be half the person I am today if it was not for them and I sure as hell would not have gone half way across the world if it was not for their support. Having a family is like having your own personal cheering squad. They encourage you and want what is best for you which is why I think they can so easily be taken advantage of.
When you are around people you care about day in and day out, it can sometimes be easy to forget how much they do for you. You may be taking advantage of the people who love you the most without even realizing it. The easiest way to show appreciation for family is to communicate with them and show them how much you love them everyday. Even if this means taking out the trash or washing the dishes without being told to. (Cough, cough… I am currently still learning this lesson today. Love you Mom).
By the way, family is not just blood related. It can be people who bring you into their family and love you unconditionally. As I have been away from my physical home for two months my roommate has become family to me. We sit in our small Italian bedroom where we can literally hold hands at night because are beds are so close, and we blast our music loudly and sing and laugh until we cannot breathe. She has not replaced my family, but having that someone that I can be myself with and share deep conversations with makes Italy feel like home to me.
Where ever life may take you, please remember the lessons of your passed and living loved ones. Anyone who fits your definition of family should be told how grateful you are for them today and everyday. No matter how much we accomplish on our own, it means nothing without having the support and love of the people you call your family. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is”. Always and forever. Happy Mindful Monday!!!