One of my first blogs on myspace described how different parts of my personality came directly from members of my immediate family. I have long since forgotten my myspace login information so I haven’t read that entry in forever, but the idea has always stuck with me, enough so that I wanted to revisit and elaborate on it.
Let’s start with the younger of my two older brothers, Joshua. Physically, Josh and I have always been very similar. We’re both tall and lanky, especially when running bases or up and down a basketball court. We both have weird, sensitive skin: you touch us, we turn red. No, it’s not a rash, you can stop asking. We have the ability to eat pretty much whatever we want without seeing too many repercussions; trust me, it’s a blessing and a curse. Apparently we look alike, with our facial expressions and mannerisms matching perfectly when reenacting stories or telling jokes. Setting the physical things aside, he’s my spirit animal in many other ways. Our love for Harry Potter is slightly embarrassing. We sit around discussing magical creatures and story lines like it’s our day job. Unfortunately, we both missed the boat on being sailors but our vocabularies would prove otherwise (sometimes fuck is just the best word for the job, am I right?). Also, if ever riding in a car with either of us, please don’t scratch that roof material. That sound alone will drive us crazy with our reactions being too weird to put into words. We’re both goofy as hell, too loud at times, and not the best drivers. I believe we both share a desire to be liked by everyone around us. Josh genuinely cares about people and their feelings, almost to a fault. He just wants everyone to get along and is forever a people pleaser, which is something that I struggle with, but because of him, will continue to strive for.
My oldest brother, Jacob, is everything I want to be. You know when you have that one person whose approval you seek? Or opinion you treasure? That’s him for me. I think my parents engrained that in me by telling me I was just like him when I was growing up. Be mindful that this was said when they were yelling at me for being a smart ass or for being stubborn, but it made me swell with pride either way. So how much of my personality comes from Jake versus how much of it do I just want to be like Jake is a fine line. My humor will never be on the same level as his, but it’s definitely on the same track. To know us, is to know sarcasm at it’s finest. I get my good taste in music from him. Thank goodness because otherwise I’d still be stuck in my Avril Lavigne era with a tie around my neck. Along those lines, he also taught me good taste in movies. Sitting me down when I was possibly much too young to watch the suicide scene in Full Metal Jacket may have been weird, but hey that’s Jake, and I loved him for it. He taught me the importance of a good campfire and the meaningful conversations it can bring. We both can be a little uncomfortable with change, but I think it’s more that we value familiarity. Jake is a genuinely compassionate person. Whether it’s soaking every chord in at a small music venue, or discussing our family and relationships, it’s something he teaches me to display time and time again.
My mom is the ultimate mother. You know what I mean? Groceries bought. House cleaned. Laundry folded. Dinner on the table. I honestly think there is something to being a good working housewife and I get that from my mother. She taught me the importance of being a good hostess and that food is love. She also taught me to not start doing anything for my husband that I don’t expect to do for the rest of our marriage, so much for having him clean his own pee off the toilet bowl. Both of us can be somewhat defensive and sensitive in nature, what woman isn’t? Any nurturing habits I have, though they be rare and mostly aimed towards my dogs, I got from her. She loves her kids more than life. Subconsciously, she taught me the importance of sibling relationships. Growing up, I saw how close she was with her sisters and I believe those family values are reflected between my brothers and me. Most importantly, she taught me the healing power of a good shopping spree.
My dad is my hero. Sure most things I got from him could be interpreted badly, like my greasy hair for instance, or the fact that i’m an absolutely miserably human being if I haven’t been fed, and let’s not even talk about my aloof driving skills. There’s also the fact that I go around unplugging everything in fear of an unlikely house fire which growing up always drove me crazy. Now, Taylor just loves having to plug the coffee pot back in every morning. Sleeping with a gun next to me and being paranoid of a break-in also stemmed from his 3 a.m. nightly habits of checking to make sure all of our doors were locked (he works in prisons for a living so cut him a break). Setting aside all the absurd intricacies that I swore I’d never do and now proudly own up to, my dad is the most selfless person I know. He taught me the importance of faith. He said it didn’t matter so much the denomination of the church you attend, but only that you have a relationship with God. And even though we still disagree on Harry Potter and Obama being direct results of the Devil’s handiwork, I wouldn’t have realized the importance of religion (organized or not) without my father. To say he’s charitable is an understatement. He gives money he doesn’t have to family he hardly sees. He gives his free time to helping others when I’m sure all he wants to do is relax between his weekly flights for work. He’s taught me to love selflessly, no matter the circumstance. I’ll never be as charitable as my daddy is, but how lucky am I to have witnessed it first hand and to have an example to live up to.
My family literally completes me. My parents have taught me, in true parent fashion, what to do and also what not to do in life. My brothers have been and always will be my best friends and my soul mates. I wouldn’t be who I am without these four people and will take what they’ve given me, the good and the bad, and cherish it always.