I’ve talked about relationships earlier here and I’m still thinking about them, so you’ll want to skip this one, if you didn’t like the first rant.
Let’s begin by talking about the first of the relationships we make, the first bracket:
These are normally one of the first few people you lay eyes on. They teach you everything you ought to know to get by—how to walk, how to talk, how to eat, how to excrete hygienically (!)... They also teach you a set of secondary things— the things that essentially mould you into the person who you are to become…
No wonder people freak out when they find that some little person is going to call them Mom or Dad.
Increasingly often I hear people around me talking about how their parents screwed them up—their mothers' obsessive-compulsive behavior made them a neat freak and their fathers had a drinking problem and now they fear they might be heading towards the same place… their mothers’ worrying has made them a nervous wreck, their fathers’ anger issues have made them a resentful person…
Then there’s the genes—can’t really blame your parents for it—they didn’t really ask for the diabetes or the borderline personality disorder… but there you are, stuck with not one but both of their genetic ailments.
Whatever the complaint is, the one thing you hear most of us saying is—'I don’t ever want to turn into my father or my mother!' And one day you stare at yourself in the mirror for just a few seconds longer than you should have, and you see that terrifying image of one of your parents.
Almost every parent knows how important the first few years in a human being’s development are… and still, if you really look back, you will find at least ten things your parents did absolutely wrong. They fought in front of you too often, treated the help with no respect, were never on time, didn’t give you enough attention… These are the people who are supposed be your largest window into what the world looks like and how life is meant to be lived; and when they screw up, you’re screwed up.
Sure, you grow up and you have altered opinions and have moved into a groove of your own-- become your very own person. But there are still those wounds from your childhood that probably stopped hurting ages ago and are now a dull background ache, and the the sad thing is that there will always be a scar.
All that said, there are two things we have to remember..
- Besides being parents, they’re people too… they have their own personal demons to deal with-- some passed over from their own folks, some of their own making.
- More importantly, they’re also learning how to be parents. After all, they’ve been parents for exactly the same amount of time that you’ve been their child… how could they have known better?
It is my personal opinion that siblings are really the only people who will be able to connect to everything you are—when you’re 8 or when you’re 80. They were with you when you learned the things you learnt and they grew up into almost the same person you have become. They remember all the happy moments… the ice creams in the summer holidays or the new toys you both played with… They also remember the bad stuff. The stuff that made you both weaker and stronger. The stuff that makes you both shudder when you think about it.
I think siblings have a great potential to be your soul mate—the other side of the same coin. They will always love you… they have to. You might fight over small things, both when you are 5 and 50, you might not spend time as often when you’re both older and have separate kids and families… but they will always know who you are at your very core. They might be obliged to love you because you are related by blood, but the bond also got sealed when you spent those 18+ years under the same roof, being each others only saviour.
You were never given the choice of having this sibling in your life, you just got picked for that person. The person who will understand where you come from, no matter where you went. Your soulmate.
[the best friend]
I wonder if we make friends to take our minds off our family! I wonder if they fill the gaps and voids in our lives.
When you’re growing up, your friends, your social window, are the ones who give you a break from the sometimes claustrophobic four walls of your home. They’re that much needed breath of fresh air.
When you finally do ‘grow up’, you find that the best of your friends are the people who keep you real. They become the voices that you try very hard to find in yourself and fail. They’re your anchor when you think you’re sinking—they remind you that there is much to live for… that there will be many sunny rays if you just hang in there… when you achieve something of much importance to yourself, they will remind you to be happy and celebrate it with you…
These bonds that you have made with these supposed ‘strangers’, with their different backgrounds and the different blood, are the bonds that keep you from tipping over. Ironic as it may be, these made-up, hand-picked bonds are intuitive- Your best friends are sensitive when you need it, and they dish it out to you when you don't have the balls to do it to yourself. How this just comes to them, I don’t know. I am some one’s best friend too, but the only way I can describe my reaction to them is intuitiveness.
[the better half]
The ‘better half’ is the person that you’ve dreamt of finding all your life. This person who will make you whole, make you see the new picture, bring you hope for a new and shiny life you are yet to build. Your re-birth of sorts.
This companionship is supposed to be the most beautiful of all. This is the companionship that demands for the benefits of both [the family] and [the best friend]. It is that union that is best suited for the life you’re meant to lead.
Maybe that’s why it does not work out for most people! This notion of the ‘perfect relationship’. The pressure to have this un-ending, unconditional love for someone and to be loved back in the same way, all.the.time, for all.of.life seems like a bit much, doesn’t it?
Not to say that it does not happen. In my lifetime, I have seen some couples like that… so in Love… so in Happy! I think the reason why people call it the ‘magical’ connection is because of how incredibly rare it really is! Imagine the odds of meeting that one person who is compatible for you in every way possible… there are approximately 3 billion people out there that you can choose from and you get to pick only one, and ideally you should get it right the first time you commit! Phew!