Last week I finally cut ties to my family in Germany and I am so glad I did. My family, excluding my parents, is very narrow-minded with little ambitions in life and so typically ‘German’ it makes me cringe. I am ambitious and I have my own idea of life. I am not what society wants me to be, but I am also not a rebellion as such. I am conservative in many things, but the exact opposite in others. I am just myself. I have opinions that other people might not share, maybe because they truly believe in it, but mainly because it’s the way they have been brought up with. I like to get to know other opinions and I will respect them, but I also expect others to respect mine.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire
My family has never lived anywhere but Germany, always in the same town – eating at the same restaurants, shopping at the same shops and socialising with the same people. They went to school, completed an apprenticeship or a degree followed by a typical 9-5 job that pays for a decent living, but still not enough to have the same lifestyle I have. I am not by all means criticising this as such, what I am criticising is their narrow-mindedness. They have absolutely no understanding that I love to travel the world, that I like to go to Las Vegas every year during the summer and that a weekend in New York is nothing special to me. I work hard and yes, I could save everything, but what’s the point in life then? There is so much to discover in the world and I would rather spend my money than sit on it.
I was never aware of that so much until I started a group on Whatsapp. I named it ‘Family’ and invited my maternal grandmother, my aunt (my mother’s oldest sister), my other aunt (married to my uncle&godfather), another aunt (not actually blood-related, but she is my aunt as I see her as such), my uncle and my sister. It was something I could easily share updates of my life, pictures of the boys and me and read daily updates of my family. However, it became more and more to my awareness that I am so much different to my family and we would disagree all the time over things, unless I hold my tongue or rather my fingers and kept quiet.
A typical situation: My sister got her third tattoo last week. My family doesn’t do tattoos. Nobody but my sister has a tattoo. She had her first tattoo when she was 16, something her father approved of because he would say yes to anything and my mother had no other choice. My whole family was outraged. A tattoo? At sixteen? Never! They phoned my mother, told her to say no and not sign anything to approve of this. My sister wasn’t happy and shared her anger on Facebook. My family in Spain, who was not involved in this, wasn’t happy about it and told my sister to cancel her flights she had booked to stay with them a little bit later. Not only her, but also her friend had booked flights and my sister was really angry about not being able to go after all. I think she learned her lesson then. But now, four years and two other tattoos later, the tattoos aren’t a problem anymore. No, my family actually thinks it’s acceptable and that my sister is old enough. Are you kidding me? I reminded them about their behaviour four years ago and was told, that it was different then. What was different? Oh, you hypocrites.
I could go on and one about the situation, but for the moment I am glad not to be in touch with them. I am making so many changes in my life right now and I really don’t need negativity in my life. But on a more positive note: I am off to Zurich at the weekend to see my friend Theresa again – after three years. We lived in Brussels at the same time and got on very well. Looking forward to share pictures with you, Zurich is beautiful. Have a lovely week everyone!