Time After Time

I didn’t have such a great day after having a fight with my mum. It makes me upset to fight with people. Sometimes there’s no point in fighting — but the reality is that people fight. People, especially in relationships, will fight. You will disagree and argue and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.

When I was younger, my dad got a little angry at me and that resulted in my mum arguing with him. Outside when my mum and I were doing the washing, she said to me, “You can choose your husband but you can’t choose your father.”

Similarly, you can’t choose your family… but you can choose your friends.

It’s a sad thing to contemplate but I believe that I am closer to a lot of my friends than I am with my family. For starters, pretty much all of my aunts and uncles live overseas in Indonesia. I barely get the chance to talk to them, and since I was born in Australia, I’ve lived my whole life here. I wasn’t ever close to my cousins or aunts and uncles. They know I exist and they do love me, but because of the distance, there is never that real opportunity to get close.

I feel really lucky that my parents moved here a couple of years before I was born. Really lucky. When we visit Indonesia about every four years, we stay for about two months. It might not sound like a long time but going there, it really is. I nearly cry every time I go there because I’m homesick, feel out of place, and simply cannot imagine living there. I can’t adjust to it.

Because of that, I have found solace in friends I have made here. I am not really close to my family, but I feel grateful for the fact that I can choose who my friends are, without anyone choosing them for me. Without anyone putting an idiot into my life. I’ve had people hurt me in the past, but it was me who ultimately made the decision to push them away.

It also leads me to wonder about the smallest things in life. One little thing can make a huge difference. Had my parents not moved, I would not have lived my whole life here, learned what I have learned, made it to a university here, met the friends I have met right here, and… be here now. James once told me that his parents chose Australia over Canada. Even thinking about every possibility makes me realise how fleeting life is. I might have never met James. And thinking of my other friends, I might not have met many of them.

Sometimes we might not be able to make every decision that pulls us into the path of life. Sometimes things happen before we are even brought into existence, or we may fear the road ahead when we come to a big decision. But, in the eleventh hour — when all is said and done — where we are is where we are, and those decisions are ours to make.

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