There is a pivotal point between youth and adulthood that comes long after all the other milestones. It comes after you have been through relationships and heartbreak, after you have finished school and lived in your first apartment. It slides in somewhere amidst all those huge changes when you finally realize that family is a malleable, expandable, shiftable concept. For the majority of your life your family consists of those blood related to you, sometimes related by marriage or adoption, mostly of those who you have been told to love and respect and spend holidays with (in the beginning when they are warm, safe and joyous, and later when they are awkward, tense, and blurry). At that crux, that pivotal point that is not immediately recognizable, you choose which people from your first (blood/marriage/adoption) family, and which people from outside that circle fit in that concept.
You get to pick. You get to sculpt and build and draw your own concept of family. Hitting that point in life changes everything.
So, here’s to family (both first and chosen) in the New Year.