Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nature vs. Nurture

I don’t make much of an effort to stay in touch with extended family and I'm reminded about it all the time. I’m very close with Megan, Shawna and my Mum and I’ve been making an effort with my Dad, but in terms of family, I feel that I tend to lean on my few close friends during a specific time period or location in my life. Simply stated, I find my tribe and love them hard. Be it my Golden Gals, my few close and smart Calgary girlfriends, that one summer in Connecticut with my first real feminist friends, my Bushbabes and even now, I’ve gotten closer to some lovely ladies who live right in the ‘Hoof. I find those few girls in a particular time in my life and I love the shit out of them. Most of them today, I still stay in contact with, make an effort to connect with and visit when I’m in their area. They’ve impacted my life in various ways to which I know that it was meant for me to meet them, at some section of time during my life. 

So, when it was suggested that my sisters, Mum and I meet up with my cousin and his partner during our girls weekend in Jasper, although I was up for it, I was pretty neutral on seeing them. Although I was kept up-to-date with the generalities of his life, I hadn’t seen my cousin for the past ten years, my high school graduation, actually. I had a brief outline of his life story: finishing university, moving from the East Coast to Jasper and remaining with his high-school sweetheart. As you can tell, I was judging his life as a pretentious ass would.

I was an amazing weekend. Meg, Shawn and my Mum haven’t been together, on our own, in a very long time, which is both thrilling and concerning. With 5.5 strong minded McNeil girls in one location for that length of time, it have could ended in a hurricane of opinionated emotions, but I’m confident to say it was a wonderful visit. I love my scenery in the Bearhead road. I’m currently writing this on my porch, and the view is lovely, but honestly, there are no mountains like the Rockies. I went trail running in the mornings, visiting during the day and drank wine in the evenings.

My cousin and his Girlfriend choose to work two jobs because they love where they live, and I could relate. How could one argue with that? They’ve rescued a lovely dog and spend their weekends bike riding, hiking and rock/ice climbing. They have been most happily together for almost a decade and quite comfortably tell me there will not be another addition to their family: they don’t want children. And suddenly I’m looking at a life that would be my ideal future. Like I said, I was judging his life as a pretentious ass would.

Ultimately, I’ve never had a more enjoyable visit with my mum and sisters. I also learned that my lifestyle choices may be a bit more genetic than I realized, and perhaps I need to look into investing in my genetic code a bit more and commit to some family events. Those close girls in my life accept and support my character and quirks unconditionally. From a Nature Vs. Nurture perspective, they support and inspire me to find myself in way I never would and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful. But I suppose I need to understand where I came from and I am who I am from a Nurture perspective, too.

- K

And this is the part you find out who you are.