F-a-m-i-l-y... six letters that form a word with a profound meaning. A word that has been very significant throughout my life. Family is difficult to define, because every family is different. All I can say is that I have two kinds of family: my blood related family and the family that I have created for myself.
My family is spread out all over the world (because of the Vietnam war) and it’s pretty huge and extended. I can honestly say that I haven’t even met half of my family in real life. Nevertheless, they are my family because we are connected by blood. The extend of me caring about my family is different though. Aren’t you supposed to do everything for your family? But think about it: would you really give up everything for someone you have never met?
This is why I always say that you can’t define family. Family has a different meaning for every individual. I wouldn’t go through fire for every member of my family, but I would do this within a heartbeat for my friends. Just because people are related to me, doesn’t mean that they’re ‘family’. (Yes, they are family, but then they’re not... get it?! Confusing I know.)
The other thing about my family and I is that I’m very different from them. Many members within my family have an Asian way of thinking and doing, while I do things the Dutch/Western way. You can imagine that this doesn’t always go together right? This is just one of the many reasons why I’m different and sort of an outsider. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the depressed black sheep that is complaining, I’m just stating the obvious. In the end, they are my family and what I’m most proud of about my family is that I’m a very proud aunt of all these wonderful nieces and nephews.
They are my family, but I’ve also created my own family with people whom I’m not related to. I’ve worked, studied and travelled all over the world and throughout these journeys I’ve come across people who have captured a place in my heart. People often ask me if I ever get homesick, because I’m away all the time. Truth of the matter is that Holland will always be my home country, but ‘home is where the heart is’. As long as I’m surrounded by people whom I care about, than I’m ‘home’.