I am rather isolated geographically from my friends and family, who are scattered all over the country. My closest friend lives an hour away.
There are five people who influence me regularly as an adult. Obviously relationships have lot of complexities and purpose, but I think these five people influence me in different ways.
My husband– totally reinforces my healthy behaviors and calls me on my bad ones. Though our personalities are different, he is always supportive. Of my four relationships, this is the most ‘‘equal’’–he is usually on the same wavelength as me and gets excited about the same ideas. We’re a team. Rock.
My grandmother–She keeps me selfless, because she needs me. Her identity is based on how much time and energy she gives to her grandchildren, but nobody really takes care of her. It brings me a lot of pleasure to be able to focus on her needs. And of course, whenever I need her, she is always there.
My grandfather–He works very hard taking care of others, too, but nobody seems to appreciate it very much. I know he is proud of me for taking responsibility for my own life and for the wonderful marriage I am building, and his very presence reminds me to always act in ways that will make him proud of me.
My aunt–She lives in New York now, and in many ways it’s like a gaping empty hole in my heart. I began life at her side; she knows me better than anyone does, possibly even myself. She always treated me like an equal and gave me the benefit of the doubt so many times. She is the person who reminds me to enjoy life, and I can call her up any time for advice. I can trust she will give it to me straight.
My sister-in-law–She’s 16. For reasons I’m not going into here, a lot of the responsibility for her well being has landed on the shoulders of me and my husband. I’m certain she is preparing me for parenthood, because if I love my future kids even half as much as I love this girl, I’m going to be a wonderful parent. She has taught me the meaning of what it means to love someone unconditionally.
You know, in my head I started out with three people, then four, then five, the list keeps growing… so I’ll leave it at that. But yes. I am so incredibly blessed.