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Odes

Ode to Family

Family is close. Your family is the one set of people that you are certainly around entirely, that you will never be truly separated from, that will always be there unasked, that will remain unchanged no matter the circumstance. This can be the most amazing thing if you choose to interact with them well. They will always have your back, and they will give you support and advice that is easier to take because of the bonds you share. There is a certain level of unconditional affection and care that creates the strongest of support. It is easy to give yourself to the family and provide as much as you can to these relationships. It is a great thing, for they are the people that you are around most frequently. They are the ones who understand fully where you are coming from. They are the ones that have shared the full extent of your experiences with. They are the ones that you have learned how to not just associate with but live with, and so you find life full with them. With family, you share the holidays and vacations. You can travel with them and see the wonders of the world. You find the secrets of childhood play and fantasy; you go through the discoveries of finding yourself as you grow and mature; and eventually, you find the deep and long-lived relationship that you can share for your adult life. Each relationship in your family is different yet inextricably interwoven with the others.

My family has shaped who I am fundamentally. They are the ones that have significantly changed me. They have taught me so much of what I know. I have been so fortunate to grow up with and live near a set of people so intelligent, talented, and caring. They have brought me to a place where I can easily say that I am an extremely competent adult, and this is potentially the highest praise that can be given to a unit whose fundamental task is accomplishing that. They have even managed to do so and leave me with a fundamentally positive outlook on things, a great amount of hope and love for the world, even a profound caring for the world in which we live. Each of the things I write below are shared and experienced with each of the other members of the family, for we are separate, but one.

My mother is where I get my sense of duty, intelligence, and love of music. She has shaped me as a student and academically inclined person. She has pushed my skills and knowledge to excel at the things that I gradually pick up. She is the source of articulation for many things in my fundamental philosophy. She is the one that I run to for advice with the faithful, if unrealistic, sense that she can fix anything. She shares my attention to detail and productivity in tangible progress. She is committed to the use and development of both sides of your brain. She is the one from whom I seek and will actually listen to constructive criticism. She holds a strong commitment to self and one’s own interests despite what any other person may think to which I aspire.

My dad is the source of skills, compassion, and outlook. He is the one who always encourages me to smile, who always gets me out to try new things, or practice and appreciate old ones. He is the long and subtle planner. He has taught me about the natural world. He is the one who can talk about the little appreciations of life that make a huge difference in mindset and contentment. He is the one with whom I need not actually talk as we set about parallel paths content to be present together bound by the unspoken. We share the gardens and the feeling of wonder in the beauty of the world. The passing of seasons is the most detailed between us. He is the one who has structured my sense of getting up to do something cool, the one who interrelates between a vast multitude of people, the one who finds solace and appreciation in the garden.

My brother is my hero. He is the one to whom I look up and whom I try to emulate. Good at everything, kind, patient, and intelligent. I compare myself to him more than any other person. As oldest, he has been our leader. He has taken me on in the areas where I am weak and encouraged me to improve. He has set the bar high and helped me get over it. He is the one to whom I go for advice. He holds for me the combined wisdom of my parents and empathy of being a sibling. I find his praise to be that which elevates me the most.

My sister is my companion. She is the one I go to to pour my heart out. She is the one who undoubtedly has my back and will protect and fight for me. She has shown and developed my sense of the incredible, unfathomable strength and talents of women, so much that the idea of misogyny fundamentally makes no sense to me. She is the one that shows me how to go out and give something your all, to let your strength and determination carry you through any obstacle. She is the one to whom I relate and become most talkative.

My loved one would be my everything. He would teach me my humanity and full strength of my character. He would bring me to care completely about a person, to reach beyond the barriers of space and time to keep strong a relationship, to think consistently about someone other than myself, to feel the full extent and power of music. He is the one who can get me to try new things and care about things I once disdained. He is the one I look forward to talking to. He is the one person I would love to be around when I am at my most antisocial. He is the one whom I can be enraptured in the banal, yet I cannot help but think of epic plans with. He improves my mood and makes me want to be a better person. He is someone that I am eager to share with. He makes me happy.