There is no society on this planet that I know, which would not appreciate the importance of the family. The story typically goes that the West is more individualistic (and less family-stic) than the East, but you find people on both spectrum family-no family in either part of the world. Yet I have not met any person who would say that family does not matter. Simply because families do matter (even if you stand for social non-conformity, you can't run away from evolutionary biology).
So I have this aspiration to have one. This aspiration to belong to a little tribe. To have some rituals, like dinner every Sunday. To share memories, specific inside-jokes and deeper understanding of another human being, like no one else.
In a way I do have a family. There is a grandpa, who lives in Ukraine. And there is my sister, who lives in Lithuania. And there is me, who is based in Hong Kong, but majority of days this year spent outside - across countries in Europe (but not in Lithuania or Ukraine), the Middle East and Asia.
I am in regular touch with grandpa and sister. With grandpa yesterday talked about electricity cuts due to #russiaisaterroriststate attack on the Ukraine's energy infrastructure. He needs a chargeable lamp when power is out (then I spent like 3 hours trying to find the one in Ukrainian online stores and Aliexpress). With my sister we whatsapp regularly and have calls around once every two weeks. Now she is trying to decide her birthday gift out of three options - a new Macbook Air or a round trip anywhere in the world with 7 days accommodation covered or simply cash, EUR 1,400. She said she needs to think very very well.
They are my digital family.
Digital family, is also a family, and I am grateful to have it. Yet, as a name suggests, it is digital. I have aspiration to have a real one, physical. A kind of that, if I want to put my finger in their nose or ear, I can (normally I don't coz yes it's gross). The people I work with - be it the team in Poland, or distributors, all have family, kids, some already grandkids. It's only natural for my mind to think in that direction, too. When I was 12, I was already talking to myself like: "When I have kids, I will make sure that...".
And here is a drama. My current work with frequent trips interrupts the relationship/dating pattern. I struggle with maintaining close romantic relationship and friendships. I had been wishing that a family of my partner would somehow "adopt" me. So I could feel like I belong somewhere, somehow. But that is also not happening.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year when you have a family to celebrate with. But it can also be a little lonely and sad time when you don't.
Imagine that you are in a relationship with a person for over 1.5 years still have not met any of his/her friends and family (while you have introduced most of yours). It's like this person says: "Hey, actually you are not worthy of my family and friends. You do not deserve to meet them". Of course, the text was different, justifiable excuses were presented. But you can't wipe away the real meaning and the reality - no family, no vision for the future. Because we are a mess.
When I think of the genesis of this mess, it circles back to the physical family and unrealised aspiration to have or belong to one. There is an additional component of the fear and how fear drove the meaning of ways we related to each other. Plus the limited scope of those ways - food, sex and entertainment. That's how Rome fell:
|"Bread and Circuses!"|
By now I just stopped to bother about it. Probably the whole idea was a bit unrealistic. There was no guarantee that they would accept me when I try to put my finger into their ears (I promise, I don't do that often). Too early for adoption or too late - it's no longer the question.
It went as far as I started to think maybe I do not need to have a real family. In the world of metaverse, perhaps I am on the progressive side of humanity having my remaining family and friends fully digitalised. An early-adopter. Perhaps I shall sign up for Musk's Neuralink trials. The chip will stimulate sides of my brain and fool it into believing that the (imaginary) family member or friend-avatar is physically present. Huh.
ps. thank you for reading and being with me.
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