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on family


on family

Scott Bahlmann

Dear M, 

When it comes to moving away, the question of family seems to be pretty big for a lot of people. Currently, my immediate family all lives in Utah, and me going to Washington state would be the furthest away any of us have lived. I don't think it's a terribly big issue with us though. We certainly love each other, and appreciate the opportunities we have to see each other, but we are also pretty independent. 

Even with us living in comparatively close proximity, we don't get together or talk with each other very often, perhaps twice a year on average. Thanksgiving is our default gathering time, though some siblings are switching off with their spouses families on that even. Maybe the other family members feel differently about this, it could just be that I relate less to them then they do with each other. That would be the black sheep in me I suppose.

I don't really care for the term black sheep though, as the connotation is being of less value. I like better to think that I'm a branch of the family tree growing toward a different light. I'm still developing and producing fruits, just in a different direction. And this move away is perhaps a grafting, cutting me a bit more from the primary limb and setting me in soil more fertile for me to develop. 

It's really just my mother that would probably be worried, though she's such a bright person she'll find the positive in it. I like to think I'll still make the big get togethers. Since I've always relied on public transit, or family snagging me for them, the distance will be a bit trickier. I'm sure I could just expand my use of public transit to include air travel, or some other such thing, and still stay involved. If nothing else, there is skype, eh? It's another uncertainty that I'm sure would work itself out.