I don't know about you, but when I go home to spend the holidays with my extended family there are always plenty of opportunities to chose my story.
I have two sisters and three cousins with whom we grew up so closely that our relationships are more like siblings. Out of the six of us I'm the only one who isn't married with children. I'm also one of the very few (and the only one in my immediate family) who leans to the left politically. I'm the only one who doesn't drive a car, the only one who doesn't eat meat.
Sometimes the opportunity presents itself for me to feel like the odd one out. The choice is always there to tell myself that I don't really fit in anymore.
Some years I have taken that road. I've sat by while my sisters and cousins discuss their husbands and their children or while they've complained about policy changes that I believed in and worked hard to make happen. I've told myself that I was the outsider. I've snuck off to mourn for the children I may never have or to wonder how or when I became such a stranger amongst my own kin. I've chosen isolation in the midst of my family.
I don't know if you know this feeling, but if you do you'll know that it sucks. It can make you avoid the people who you love and who love you the most. It's a rotten feeling, not least because you know that you are choosing this isolation for yourself.
This year I got a wake-up call about the stories I create for myself the night before I drove home to the farm. I saw how capable I am of choosing to see rejection when no such thing was intended.
This year I chose to see the space that was always there for me, rather than focusing on what set me apart.
How about you? Maybe you fit in to your family like a hand in a glove. If not, if like me you are the the grey sheep of the flock, how do you avoid the temptation to choose isolation for yourself?