One memory in particular is the trip that brought me and my older sister together. She was at that age where she was too cool for everything, and I was fast approaching the mindset. I was a bit of a child recluse and didn't care for human interaction in any fashion. I remember thinking very little of my sister, that's for certain. Being cramped in a backseat for a drive through Texas I guess forces you to address such issues, and we did. My Mom and Step-Dad felt that we were old enough to have our own hotel rooms during the trip, and within those dirty rooms and cramped back seats we found our common ground. She was the first to talk to me, and she was the first I spoke to. Really spoke to. Even when it was nonsense and jokes, we spoke truths. We took a trip to Sea-World but it isn't the dolphins I remember.
Of course for every bond making trip... there is my Grandma suddenly taking ill. After beating cancer and all manner of diversity, she passed so quickly. One of the hardest moments of my life. I will never forget how our family came together, and how I finally realized that this guy I was seeing meant so much to me. Death does that to a person I guess. It puts things into perspective. I hadn't exactly examined the longevity of my relationships... and when it hit me that I am given a finite amount of time with people, I realized who I couldn't live without. All these years later, through pain, struggling, and fights, I am still so deeply in love. Nobody can ever replace what he means to me, and what he has done for me as a person.
I think, like most people, I started taking people for granted pretty early in life. Believing that everyone would be around to chastise me when I took things too far. You know when people say that as you get older you will realize what everyone was trying to tell you all along. Fuck that's true, and it's always in hindsight. It's really an adults final spit in the face... but not out of spite, just concern and knowledge. My life changed when my Stepfather died of cancer. He made me promise that I would do something with my life, because up to that point, I hadn't done much. That's enough to send anyone into a deep depression of self loathing. I know that wasn't his intention, I never questioned that, but it was all the other questions that ruined me. I was still young, I knew I was smarter than most teens, but I was losing interest in... well... everything. He saw me fading in obscurity and being OK with it. Can you imagine, the last words of the man who raised you basically saying, "I know you are better than this." and knowing he's right. It's like someone waving the finished picture of a puzzle, telling you that they know you can do it, and then vanishing with that picture. I stared at the puzzle for a long time. We all have a puzzle to finish though, and it's silly to feel lost within it. I wrote in a blog a long time ago, "I feel so old sometimes, like I have lived forever, but I'm still learning... growing... changing. Sometimes still a stranger to myself." I guess I don't feel like a stranger anymore. I've learned, grown, and changed SO much... but to look inward and see so much room for growth. It's a bit exciting... and I know there will be pain. I know I will lose my way a couple times, because that's what I do, but I know now what's important to me. What will get me through. I know I will always have my memories and one day soon I will keep my promise my Stepfather, but not just for him... Because I know I deserve good things now. Even when the bad memories cut deepest, I draw my strength from the good, and with that knowledge nobody can stop me. Not even me.