No, a gift!
I don’t much like the thought of being labelled an accident. Yes, seven years do separate my older brother and I. A further two separate me from my sister.
Yes, I’m very much the youngest. Apparently I’m spoiled. But, naturally, I would disagree…
I’ve been flying solo these past five years or so. Doing my own thing. Carving my own niche into the world. Meanwhile, my brother and sister have been doing theirs. Out of sight.
We’ll speak every few months. Nothing too in depth. And so it is true that their friends probably know them both better than I do.
Late last year I traveled from Sydney to Perth and back up to Brisbane, attending each of their weddings.
At both I listened to some amazing stories. Stories outlining their character, their resilience and their drive. Both have overcome their own individual struggles, as have I, and yet I could not contain my wonder when listening to the inspiring nature of their lives; the powerful impact they have made in the lives around them.
I once had a friend who described my family as a family of ‘superheros’.
My Dad was a police officer for forty odd years; my Mum a nurse for just as long. My brother is a school teacher/chaplain and my sister works in the space of mental health and drug rehabilitation whilst studying to complete her Bachelor in Social Work.
We are a family of helpers.
A family just doing our bit.
I think it is fair to say that none of us know to do any different. We know no better than to use the hardship we face to make things better. Not just for ourselves, but more importantly for others.
I never quite realised the influence my family has had on my life and my drive to make a positive impact in the world. I thought this intrinsic motivation developed independently. But the connection surely cannot be ignored.
As a writer with unrelenting dreams of exploration and travel, the apparent contrast between my path and theirs I’m sure will only continue to grow more so. And yet our drive to do good, to make good, to make better, will remain interconnected.
Because we are family. This is who we are.
I am as proud as I am grateful to be a part of our tribe.