Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monday Mantra: Design Your Own Life

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I will design my own life

The Invincible Summer by Matthew Kavan Brooks
As an only child I have learned the important lesson of adoption. And by that I mean, if you have a small family it's good to adopt other people that you really like into it or to let yourself be adopted by them.

Either way you get a Bonus Family.

I like bonuses.

Let's take my "sister", for example. Those that have known me my whole life know I don't have any siblings. Those that haven't believe me and then meet her and wonder which one of us was adopted, as I am clearly not Asian. Nonetheless, I consider her family. A really wonderful part of my family. There are people you meet who you feel like you've known your whole life. There are people you meet who you know will be a part of your life forever. She was both for me and that makes me very blessed, because at the end of the day, when you count up all of my blood relatives that are alive and well, I have practically no family at all.

Going through a divorce has brought this all back to me. In one moment I was part of a complete and total family, unlike anything I had ever had before. A complete set of parents that were loving and kind and perfect in ways most people can only dream of. While they still are those people, I can no longer call them mine.

I had a nephew who said my name so wrong and adorably cute that I contemplated changing it to his version instead, just because my heart would melt every time he said it. I had people I could count on, instead of having to count on myself. Not having any of that is a hard thing to face at the end of the day sometimes.

For a little while I was stuck on this thought of no longer having this one thing I so very much wanted. I was angry for so many reasons, sad for so many other, and jealous of those that had what I didn't, especially when they didn't even realize what they had going for them. It felt like I had moved backwards in time to a teenage version of myself that once never believed I would have any of that.

But in the midst of all of this, of my new life and my new everything, I was reminded of the family I have adopted and that has, thankfully, adopted me back.

I am reminded of all of my Bonus Family members.

I am reminded of the people in my life who I call friends, but who are so much more than that, that the word "friend" doesn't even sound right. No one word sounds right, no one word fits what they are. Friend or relative or anything, well, it doesn't do them justice.

I have people that know me through and through, in and out, upside down and right-side up and still want to hang out with me (I'm kind of a handful sometimes, not gonna lie). I have people that included me into their families long before I ever caught on to the notion that I was being invited into a Bonus Family. And when I realize all of this, when I remember this very special family that I have, I know just how fortunate I actually am. I realize I am in no way alone. I have a helluvah family, actually.

I think that to some extent we create our own realities. We make decisions, choices, plans, and then we act on those, often subconsciously. I, without even actually trying, created a wonderful Bonus Family. And I'm certain that in the future I will once again have a family like the one I had before, because I am choosing to believe that. I am choosing to create my life exactly as I want it and that is a component I require.

I also think that life has a way of giving you exactly what you need, when you need it, for reasons you might not always understand or even acknowledge at the time. And after that, when it's all said and done, I truly believe that it's up to you to decide what your life will look like at the end of the day.

I am choosing to design my life.

I invite you to do the same.


With all of that being said, I am now accepting applications for a gay best friend. No, really. My Bonus Family feels incomplete currently.

Ever see that TV show, Felicity? You know who I adore? No, not Ben or Noel. Not even Felicity.


I would like a Javier. He kills me, in a good way. I adore him through and through. So, if you're interested in being my Javier, please let me know. If you have a cute accent like his you get bonus points.

Also, I could have used a brother back in high school, but I hadn't realized this adoption plan yet, so, now that I think about it,  I'm accepting applications for that as well. You have to be cool and willing to kick some butt, as any good older brother would be willing to do. You may give me one, I repeat, one noogie a year. I hear that's a part of the whole brother-sister dynamic. One only, though. ONE. I mean it.

What do you think about the notion of Bonus Families? Love it, hate it, would trade your current family if the price was right? I'm kidding, unless you're not and you can fill those two openings for me. Then let's talk.

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Mediocre Renaissance Man said...

I've always believed in being master over my own life (to the greatest extent possible). People often under estimate how much control they truly have over their lives.

Anyhow, I totally would have been your brother in high school had I known! Shoot. I've said it before: we should have spent more time together.

If you're looking for a long-distance brotherly straight guy with kids and a crazy job, I'll take that slot.

Anyhow, another great post. I totally relate to the bonus family notion. Even though my own family was awesome and complete growing up, I still had a bonus family in middle school, then when I moved to Arizona and had too much distance between me and them, I found Colin Cory (you knew him, I think) and a girl named Kat. They became my adopted brother and sister. We did a lot together, gave each other noogies, and stole cards from each other while playing silly games. Good memories.

Chantelle Says said...

Uh...YEAH, brother! Excellent, excellent. My bonus family so amazing now!!

I do remember Colin. Good Bonus Family choice. :)

Just to make this official...

Attention! Attention!

The role of my brother has been filled- exceptionally well, might I add. No further applicants need apply!