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A Matter of Geography

Yesterday’s prompt urged me to talk about whether I live close to my family or not. How can I answer that truthfully? No and Yes.

My nuclear family is in the Midwest. Extended family lives in the South. Then there are all of those individuals and couples who live in many places and whom I adopted and think of as family.

I’m an equal opportunity adopter. I often adopt blood family members of those I’ve added to my family album. My adopted sister Jo, known to many as BJ (I have no blood sister,) has a slew of family members whom I’ve included as family. I know many of them. Friends who’ve become family over the years bring their biological extensions along for the journey of friendship, and I prefer it that way.

I’ve lived hundreds or thousands of miles from my blood kin for most of my adult life, for no other reason than I like living in the West and they prefer to live where they’ve always been. Their roots are there, in the soil of the Midwest and the South. I don’t have roots into the soil anywhere.

Some might call me a free spirit, but I don’t know that I really fit that definition, either. I’m not a true non-conformist. I simply find no need to stay in one place for longer than is required to accomplish whatever task I have there.

I could no more work an entire lifetime at one job than I could breathe fire and survive unscathed. I have too many interests, too many questions, to remain tied to one place, one job, or one residence.

Hmm, that does sort of sound like a free spirit, though, doesn’t it? But, I’m still not a non-conformist.

I carry and conform to many of my parents’ morals. I may not believe the same way they did, but the framework of those beliefs is intact and holding up well. How I choose to act on those beliefs is entirely the result of my own perspective and experience.

None could call me the “black sheep,” either. I like to think of myself as being well received and loved within the family. I might raise the occasional eyebrow, but I haven’t been banned from family functions.

Closeness isn’t measured by miles. That’s my belief. I talk to my father every day before he goes to bed. My brother and I text each other on an infrequent basis. I communicate with extended family by phone and online semi-regularly and get reports often on family doings and personal conditions.

I’m as close to them as I would be in the same town, except that it’s not face-to-face. Our mobile society and the advent of computer technology have made all of this possible. I don’t have to think of myself any longer as the dreamer who left the family and wandered out west to seek my fortune and whom they’ll never see again.

What I find interesting is that it took everyone so long to accept the fact that I don’t belong where they are, but that I have a need to live closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve always been a sunset kinda gal rather than one for sunrise. Maybe that’s why I live here and they live there.

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  1. May 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

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