THAT photo is from a chunk of time ago, when I was living four houses down from my parents in that little nugget apartment that still holds a piece of my heart.
It's been about five months that I've been back living with my parents, and believe it or not, I'm actually really enjoying it. This is a believe-it-or-not situation because, even though both of my parents and myself are flawless human beings, being an adult and moving back in with other adults who also mostly see you as a child is not an easy feat, as many young adults are already privy to.
An added difficulty is my own twisted thinking. Part of the reason I wanted to move back from California was that I felt like I had acquired some special knowledge of what it means to love other people. In my mind, I was going to come back and out of the overflow of my wildly compassionate heart, cure all the dysfunction (wow didn't know that was spelled with a y until now, that's embarrassing) in my family.
Mother Theresa in particular had planted this vision in my heart, based on a quote I'd read that said,
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
― Mother Teresa
What a rude awakening that was. After about a week of being home, the temper and attitudes that were coming out of me were so unfamiliar to what I'd previously known, I wondered if maybe I'd accidentally stumbled into someone else's body or personality or something by mistake.
It was so frustrating, because not only was my family driving me absolutely crazy, but seeing how much anger and bitterness was inside me made me feel like I was losing my mind.
But, after almost two years of being home with these ridiculous people, I have finally given up on changing them. I'm not going to. I finally realized it's not my job to change them, anyway; and in the process of realizing that a funny thing happened. I fell in love with them. I have fallen in love with my family; with the whole of who they are. Even though they drive me crazy and piss me off, I enjoy them more than I ever have. Because they're mine, and I see myself in them. I see myself in their crazy, their silly, their sing-songy whatever.
They are some of the strangest, most frustrating people I've ever met. And I wouldn't trade them for anything.