You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. They’re family!

I feel that you go through phases in life when it comes to appreciating your loved ones.

  1. When you’re little, your parents are everything to you simply because you cannot do anything for yourself.
  2. As you get older and become more independent you start to push them away in an attempt to form your own identity and become independent.
  3. But once you have had your taste of freedom and independence you realize that it is not all that it is cracked up to be. You realize just how important your family and support system really is.

That last step is where I am in my life right now. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent almost two years in college and realize that not having to worry about rent, bills or groceries was truly a blessing.

Or maybe it is because I’m from Georgia and I chose to go to school in Virginia. When I get homesick or want to travel home for the weekend, I am quickly reminded that home isn’t down the street, let alone a two hour drive.

Or maybe its because for the ten years prior to me playing college basketball, someone in my family was always in the stands cheering me on; once I got to college, that all changed. This luxury that I often took for granted was no longer available and it affected me more than I anticipated it would. The fact was, my family had their lives in Georgia to tend to and I had mine in Virginia.

But this past week, for the first time in a while my family was able to make it to one of my games, and despite our team lose I couldn’t have been happier to see my support system in the stands.

Being away from my family for the past two years has allowed me to learn many tough lessons on my own. It has also shown me what a blessing family is and why they are necessary for my success.

It’s not that I did not appreciate them before, it’s that I appreciate them more now because I have lived life without them and seen that life is not as beautiful.

My Challenge To You: No matter what category you fall under, young and dependent, the independent teen, or the college student making this same realization, don’t wait any longer to show appreciation for your family. They are ultimately the people who know you best and are your support system. Don’t wait until they are not around to realize what a significant role they play in your life.