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Such an interesting term, right? What exactly is family? Growing up I always thought family was defined by the idea of permanence. You know, that family picture hanging on your wall? You look at it and wonder how things aren’t the same anymore. Why did everything change so quickly? Sometimes, I wish I could hold onto that lie – the lie that family is permanent, and that relationships stand strong through every season. Honestly though, I don’t even want to hold on to such a lie. I am actually comfortable with the truth, which is that things have changed and will continue to change. Family is not necessarily family just because they’ve been given that title. Family is that which stands by you in every season regardless of any external circumstances…and the funny thing is that there is a very minimal amount of “family” that can do that.

I have quickly realized that change is inevitable and by no means is it a bad thing. People move, people face their own changes, and ultimately change occurs. I would also like to point out that there is a difference between changing circumstances and changing people. Circumstances will always change, but should that be reason enough for relationships to change as well? In my opinion….no. That is not a reason enough for relationships to change. When a relationship truly stands on trust and love then there is nothing in the world that can come in the way of that.

There are times when you go back in time and try to live through those happy moments, because those memories have long passed and those people are living their own lives in the realms of happiness defined by their lives. However, I sometimes wonder if they are really happy or do they just portray to the world that they are happy. Either way, I am not holding on to those memories, rather as they come up I live through them and smile occasionally.

You know what the most crazy part is? Although, I know love is not defined by the amount of times you keep in touch with someone…it is still important. When that same family doesn’t stay in touch – that is what hurts the most. Those people that you used to see daily and talk to every single day, now is an empty chat in your phone. They’ve moved all the way to the bottom of the chat list. They will wish me a “happy birthday,” and/or message you with mini updates in their lives – but I’d rather they don’t message me at all. Those formalities are a reminder of the deeper relationships that have been lost. I do not seek the surface level talk nor pity.

Sometimes, you wish that the essence of the relationship could be revived, even when you know that isn’t possible. Even when you try to revive the relationship it seems as if the relationships have become much like the water flowing in the ocean. It continues to just flow, but the difference is that it flows in its own stream vs. with the tide of the entire ocean as one.

I am grateful for having learned so much from these experiences. I believe when someone willingly steps out of your life, someone else steps in. That in itself is such an amazing blessing. Family is a title that is only a few are entitled to. This is because when you start throwing around the term “family” like it is nothing, it makes you lose trust in the word itself. Family simply consists of those people who love you.


Manisha Sareen



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