Watching Disney movies as a kid made me believe that perfect families existed. Or at least it gave me hope of what a healthy relationship looked like between relatives, friends, and companions. But today, as a single woman living in NYC, I've been learning that there is truly a thin line between living a perfect (fantasy) life, and embracing the life you naturally have, just perfectly (and realistically) fine.
I grew up an only child until my mother remarried and had my sister when I was thirteen. Before then, I lived in a house where I sat alone in my bed, listening to my parents argue on the floor below me. Most couples argue, which is nothing new. And by the time my parents sat me down to tell me that they were splitting, (I was 9 years old) a part of me was mature enough to accept it and adjust quickly to the change.
A few years later, after she remarried and had another baby, I grew extremely attached to my little sister who idolized me and yearned for my big sister affection. Having such a big age difference, I became somewhat of a second mother since I fed her bottles, changed her diapers, and gave her cute bubble baths when I was about fifteen. Nevertheless, although I had a ball with my kid sis - taking cute baby pictures, dancing in the living room together, and watching (YES!) watching Disney Cartoons with her when I'd baby sit, I always had this inner feeling of an overwhelming amount of responsibility. With my stepfather's relatives coming over for family dinners and holidays, I had subconsciously felt like an outsider who was living in my mothers house with her family, never really feeling like it was my home. I felt more like a string-along who had to fit into my mothers world, while I visited my real father & his family, (and even my mothers family) on my own time - separately.
Fast forward to today... I know plenty of adults who live perfectly normal, healthy, and rewarding lives that come from divorcees. But sometimes, I honestly can't help but wonder if my growing up the way I did has influenced why I'm still single. Maybe... Maybe not... As an artist, I love building a career that's creatively & emotionally charged, although I'm getting a little tired of thinking that its a "singles" career. Artists have such a spontaneous lifestyle - constantly meeting different faces whether its a fan or a potential business opportunity, doing shows for different audiences in different places, recording music or writing song lyrics at all times of the night, that the nature of show business can be pretty freedom-loving. It's very rare that you see power couples who stand the test of time, but there are a FEW! One of the most popular ones are Will & Jada Pinkett Smith; also Emilio & Gloria Estefan. Lord knows that I'd love to pick their brain about how they've remained glued together for all these years.
And for the single people who are artists, (or whatever profession their in) who have built a beautiful life, I wonder what their definition of home is? By no means am I suggesting a co-dependent relationship because there's absolutely nothing wrong with being single! (We should all be comfortable with being our own best friend; self love is divine) but isn't it true that everyone needs a support system? Call it a family if you will, or a team... Or a circle of friends. But everyone needs a group of people that they can depend on. No?
I definitely have a nice circle of professional team members who I've formed a beautiful bond with. Certain music producers, photographers, editors, fashion stylists, jewelry designers, video directors and so on who I work with but also trust, confide in, and share special moments with such as birthday celebrations and so on... But I'm just hoping that I don't remain too chicken shit for too long when it comes to matters of the heart. One thing I vowed is to never go through a divorce. Some people have no problem jumping into marriage because they don't wanna live with regret. So they'd rather try and fail then to never try at all. Well, I can't see myself treating marriage as a test. But I also don't wanna think that living in a bubble (by myself) is easier, safer, and more fulfilling. Although relationships are not perfect (Thanks Disney!) I wouldn't trade creating a love nest for a life of playing it safe, single. I also won't rush such a sacred commitment like marriage for the sake of tying the knot. In fact, perhaps becoming perfectly fine with the life I already have will attract the right companion (who doesn't need a title, or an obligation, or an expected result to come from it), because a little bit of love can go a long way...
As far as feeling like the outcast when I was younger goes... (and I left a lot of stuff out) Family has more to do with unity and togetherness, trust and love, understanding and forgiveness, then it has to do with blood - or having a document ie. marriage certificate. Because real love can be found in the rarest of places with the people you least expect, over time, with memories built, and when spontaneity (the magic of life) is let in.
Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? What would family guy say? Lol