choose your own family
In Friday’s weekly video recap, I said that today I’d be writing about the idea of choosing your own family. When you’re born, you’re born into a family, but you end up choosing your own family along the way, too.
I grew up part of a large Irish Catholic family. Although my parents dropped the Catholicism part, the Irish part very much remained. Family outings were always so fun growing up that I learned to take that idea of fun as the foundation for a good friendship and apply it to my life.
While I was back east, I went to my sorority sister’s wedding outside Baltimore. It was the second of two weddings I attended while I was home. The first wedding was for my cousin Kelly and her husband Dom and the second for my sorority little little and her husband Scott. My cousin Kelly felt like a big sister to me at times and is/was definitely someone I looked up to growing up. Even today I see so many similarities between us that I admire her more and more. My sorority sister, Meg, was not my little sister in my family but the little sister of my little sister Kailee, hence the term “little little.”
It was so incredible to witness Meg get married because, along with her little Margaret and her big Kailee (my little little little and little, respectively), I got to witness a declaration of love in a family that I’d created in college. Being with my Pi Beta Phi family and seeing how much our lives have changed but how our family love hasn’t was something truly special to witness. Meg and Scott had dated since their freshman (my junior) year of college. Scott was very much a part of our Pi Phi family, too, so it was really nice to see that love come full circle for them as they continue their journey together in life.
And as for Kailee and Margaret? I couldn’t be more proud of them. The bunch of us were joking about our Pi Phi family because Kailee wasn’t my only little. I was one of the few lucky Pi Phis in my pledge class who got to have “twins,” meaning that I got two littles at once - Kailee and Jess - who were both perfect fits for me in very different ways. And even when examining the dichotomy of our sorority family, we saw that there was a pattern and how everyone was able to get along because of how accepting we all were of each other. It was beautiful to hear that said out loud from another sorority sister - that our family was always so fun-loving and accepting. Each woman in my sorority family is traveling her own path in life and just crushing her own version of happiness. It makes me insanely happy to see it and to also realize that, although small, I played a part in each woman’s life path, always encouraging them to pursue the thing that made them feel the most complete and fulfilled.
There’s a reason each woman in my sorority family ended up there. I look at all of them, and all I see are these beautiful, intelligent, hardworking, strong women, forging their own paths and defining happiness for themselves. Sometimes they ask me for advice, and I happily give it to them because I know that, at the end of the day, they’re all incredibly smart and will make their own brilliant decisions.
Meg, congratulations - your wedding was incredible! Kailee, I can’t wait to officiate your wedding! Margaret, keep following your path to make the world a better place!
Jess, you look so happy that it makes me happy! Christie, keep up all the hustle - I see you, girl! Elaine, you are beautiful as always, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
To my beautiful Wolfpack Dynasty, I love you girls and I’m so incredibly grateful we got to be a family. We all chose each other, and from all of us getting perfect scores on our Pi Phi tests to getting called to standards, we are the true definition of strong, intelligent, beautiful, fierce women. I am so proud I get to be a part of the greatest sorority family that ever lived. Ahhhhh-oooooh, Wolfpack!
My sorority family is just one example of a family I've built along the way. But we've all found ways to build a family in our lives, right? For those of us in LA, it's the people we surround ourselves with - the people we do life with, do Friendsgiving with. Family doesn't have to be blood to be family, though our blood family usually sets the foundation for what we look for in others - lucky for me, my family taught me to look for fun, support, and happiness!
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!
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