I come from a divorced family, but I hardly view it as such. Even though my parents divorced when I was young, our family has never truly been separated. In the early days of the divorce, my parents managed to stay friends (no matter how tough it was) and were able to hold conversations about our lives. And to be honest, the initial transition was really tough for us to navigate. Growing up, my sister and I would switch between houses every other day, then every other week, and when we were old enough, we simply got to choose where we went. And over time, we began to gradually spend our major life events in a group. This includes birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings, births, and holidays.
It’s odd when I think about it, but when I was old enough to discuss divorce, it wasn’t some no-no subject. Almost all my friends had split families, and none of us viewed it as abnormal, because it was our normal. We all grew up with multiple lifestyles, and I think in the long run, it helped us learn to adapt to the continuous changes in life.
My family may be rare in the way we live our lives, but truthfully, I can’t imagine it any different. I know, sounds strange right? But I can’t really imagine a life where my parents were still together. If I were to imagine a life where my parents were together, I would also have to imagine a life where all of my step family members and all the people who came with them were non-existent, and that is tough.
Being newly married myself has shown me that love and marriage can sometimes be broken up into categories. I also learned that marriage is a choice made everyday, and not just on the day you say “I do”. Everyone deserves to live a life filled with the people they love, and a life where they love themselves. I believe that’s what happened when both my parents found love for a second time. They built a beautiful family, and they loved us and themselves enough to add to it over the years. My circle is immeasurable and it feels like it’s always growing for the better.
I don’t like the term “broken family”, and this is why. While the world has been better about simply accepting the different classifications of family, I think that normalizing and seeing the beauty in the cracks of family is next. My family reminds me of Kintsugi – the japanese art of repair. Kintsugi is when cracks are filled with gold. It is based on the idea that the cracks and imperfections can actually make things better. My family is filled with gold, and is stronger for it.