So much of what seems to drive me is this need to somehow be different or better than I am actually am. Today I realized that I can’t be separate from my family. When I am immersed in my family, as I am right now, I lose sight of the person I know myself as  when they aren’t around. I catch glimpses of that person out of the corner of my eye, but then it’s gone and I can’t be absolutely certain what I saw was truly real. I am my two year old self, my thirteen year old self and my sixteen year old self as I eat dinner between my sister and my parents tonight in this thirty something body. I will never be free of them, apart from them–a person who they can no longer move with a silent tug on a twenty-year-old string.

It’s messy being a part of a family, and I have this almost maniacal desire to be clean in my relationships. As though if I knew the outline I was supposed to follow and was meticulous enough about coloring inside the lines, then…what? I would never feel the guilt or shame of having hurt or disappointed someone I love? I could feel loved by everyone all the time? I’m not sure what it would get me, but I’m pretty damn positive that it’s utterly implausible. Human relationships are messy. I think I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure out how to reap the rewards of relationships without having to suffer the cost participation in them will inevitably demand. I want the good stuff without the bad. And like many things I seem to obsessively work at, what I think I’m working toward only exists as a figment of my own imagination. Human relationships are messy. I am going to be messy in them. I am the two year old, the thirteen year old, the sixteen year old, all in the body of the thirty year old, and not just when I’m with my family, but all the time. In every interaction.