Who is Family?

The focus for the 3rd week (Jan. 17 – Jan. 23) of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge was:

Family

Over the years, I have come to understand that “family” means more than just blood relatives. I was an introvert growing up, so I often stayed away from people, including my family. If you know me, and the rest of my siblings, you will understand that I am different from the most of them. As a result, I was not that close to them as such.

My Favorites

If you asked me, my mother would definitely be my favorite parent. I believe the rest of my siblings will same the same too. Since I left for Cyprus in 2006, I got to visit for the first time in 2009. During that visit, I asked a female friend of mine to join me and my family for an outing and photo shoot on my birthday. At first she was reluctant, but I managed to convince her to come.

At the end of the day, I asked her if she had any regrets for coming over. In her words, she said “the way you guys relate with your mother, it’s as if you’s your sister and not your mother”. It was refreshing to now she thought so, because until then, I never got an outside view of how we relate as a family.

My most favorite sibling at one time was my older half-sister who lives in the US. We only ever met once when she visited Nigeria a few years before I left for Cyprus. We often communicated through emails and we discussed many topics, like life, money, goals, choices of women (for me), and so on. After a while though, we lost contact and we do not communicate as often as we did years ago. You know what? I think I better write her an email now…

My Assistant Girlfriend

But in the last 5 years or so, my immediate younger sister became my most favorite sibling. I’m not sure at what point we got that close, and I do not recall our relationship in the same manner that she does. Even so, we remained close until I returned to Nigeria. We got closer while living in different countries, so now that she’s married (photos are on Facebook) I don’t feel her absence. But she definitely made my year, as a mutual friend often referred to her as my “assistant girlfriend”.

Out of all my siblings, I am probably the only one who has spent the most time away from the family. I did secondary school in another state for 5 years. Then I spent 9+ years in Cyprus, which totals to about 15 years I have spent away from my family. That is about half of my entire life. It is no wonder I never really missed my family all the while I was in Cyprus.

My Other Family

While in Cyprus though, I met with many amazing people. I saw that family meant more than just blood because I encountered strangers to took me like family. Often times, there were a few people who felt like family to me. During my stay in Cyprus, different people felt like family at different points in my life. One popular examples, for those who know me well, is Emi. She was (and still is) like a sister and a mother. She is one of the most amazing people I know. Nas too was like a sister, sometimes. At one time or another, Hanife, and Jennifer were like my younger sisters. Kezi too started to feel like a mother at one point, but that feeling soon faded because she was my boss! Kevin also was definitely more than a friend, like an elder brother.

The Omuta Family

The Omuta Family

Still, I am indeed grateful for my immediate family. I am especially grateful because of their support when I decided I was returning to Nigeria for good. My family have been unexpectedly support since around 2010. It unexpected because it was not what I expect. Yea, I know they are family, but still. I am also grateful for those people who, along this journey we call life, took me like family. I have been to several homes as a stranger, but get treated like one of their family. It people were more like that, then just maybe humanity will still have some hope.

I am grateful for all my family, both blood and non-blood related!

7 things I was grateful for during the 3rd week of this 52 weeks of gratitude challenge:

  1. I grateful that I got to cross another item off my Christmas list today, and that was Swimming
  2. I’m grateful for memory loss, because sometimes we forget things that later come to surprise us in the future in a very pleasant way
  3. Months ago, a mechanic asked me to pay 5,000 naira for computer diagnosis of my car. Shortly after, an electrician asked for 3,000 to do the same thing. But I’m grateful today that I was able to run the diagnosis on my own, without any kits, and for free. And, there was no problem, according to the diagnosis.
  4. Although I’m not sure of the bandwidth usage, but I’m grateful for Smile Internet
  5. If there’s one thing I’m grateful for, it’s that I tend to give a good vibe to people. Have you ever met someone and just didn’t like them, for no apparent reason? People tend to just trust me, for no obvious reason, and this is something I am grateful for.
  6. Whenever I think back at how DeQeo Consulting started, I can’t help but smile. When I look at where it is today, I have to say that I am indeed grateful to God for where DeQeo Consulting is, and what it is, today
  7. It is interesting how wetting a cloth before ironing, can remove wrinkles. A steam iron makes this easy and since we have 2 irons that are not steam irons, I had to improvise for myself. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the electric steam iron

View last week’s post: www.kheme.tk/2016/01/gratitude-challenge-week-2-spouse-significant-other/