I was talking to J about families recently and I realised how much the term family has changed for me. When I was a kid, I'd willingly call anybody related by blood family - cousin, second cousin, grandaunts, people I've seen once in my life and never again.
The older I've become and the more I've realised what cunts my distant family seems to breed, the smaller my family has become. For me, family is not about those you're related to by blood - blood is not thicker than water, love is.
My family? My family are the people I think about everyday. At least two dozen people go through my mind on a daily basis - whether it's a place I pass by that I figure my cousin in Belgium might enjoy, or a song that reminds me of J, a new Thai spot I find that J will love - or hell, never being able to say 'takeaway' without the thought of him laughing, a new Indian restaurant that I can take my parents to, a new movie my brother and I will crack up watching, an offer for oysters than Denise and I will keel over, a cute guy that Fadzlin and Jeremy will enjoy perving at, ... amongst the many things that will remind me of the important people in my life.
Those are family. Family are the people you have so much love for you don't know where to put it - all this love that overwhelms you when you think about it. Family doesn't have to be by blood relations, because let's face it, a lot of us can't stand the conniving little bitches that populate the blood relations we have.
I say sever it. Don't bother with blood. Sever toxic people - you don't need them in your life. If you're lucky enough to have a family that loves each other, good for you. My parents, my brother and I are in a perfect little cocoon of a family that we'd rather not tangle with anybody else that we're related to by blood - we don't need the damn drama.
People who will stick by you are the people you love, and who love you just as much. People who have you in their thoughts as often as you have them in yours. People who have changed you, in the littlest ways, or the most exemplary of ways possible. Families are what you make of it - so make your family the very best it can be.