GN walked up to me, and placed this in my hand, in the end of April. JN and I visit The Farm every two months or so, and the end of April held one of those visits. I love visiting The Farm, as it gives me a healthy perspective on perseverance, family, and well… love. With every trip, I enjoy it more and more.
This particular trip featured a Victoria glued to her computer, writing a 20 page paper for an English class. GN handed me this business card for the farm, having whited out his and AN’s name’s, and replaced them with my own. It may seem silly, but this notion really stuck with me. Every previous attempt to feel like a part of my own family had failed, and here he was, JN’s father, having no obligation to be kind to me, giving me this little paper and acknowledging me; not only was he acknowledging me as a writer, but he respected my pseudonym (one I hope to soon make my legal name).
Being greeted by JN’s family means a barrage of “how are you”, “how’s school”, “how’s the roommate thing going”, and “what’s new”. That’s not something I’m used to, by any means. I saw my own parents, for the first time in 3 years, on my Birthday this year, and didn’t receive a single “how are you”, not to mention a “Happy Birthday”. My parents assume that because they are my parents, I have no choice but to unconditionally love them. Though, they could be right to a degree, I’ve been hurt too many times for anything to be “unconditional”. They set up condition after condition for their love for me, and thus, I formed boundaries, and disassociated.
A weak point, for me, is family. Anyone who really knows me, or potentially reads my writing, will know that. Things are a little different now. I learned that you don’t have to be family to be treated like family. It only took me 21 years to realize that.
The title of my blog is dedicated to you, GN. Thank you to the Benevolent family for making me think. Thank you for the existential conversations, hospitality, kind words, support, and most importantly: Thank you for the “Happy Birthday”.