Real Life: Family Ties

Everyone always says that the older you get, the more you can understand who you are and where you come from. I absolutely agree with this. I think especially as you hit your late 20s and early 30s, you get a great sense of why you are the way you are, what you stand for, and most importantly, you start to become okay with it (at least in theory!). There’s an acceptance that comes along with the understanding. As if life sort of gave you these lemons…you might as well make them into lemonade.

I live very far away from my family, so ever since graduating from high school, whenever I visit, it’s always interesting to benchmark how I’ve changed from the person I was growing up in central Texas to who I am now. Almost like an invisible growth chart, I can make a mental pencil mark on the wall, documenting how I’ve evolved, and year after year, I add another mark to my chart, then stand back, and note the differences.

This last trip got me thinking: what are the traits that I can most clearly tie back to my family and my upbringing? We all inherit good and bad from our environments, whether we like it or not. Today, I thought I’d share a few traits that are clearly ‘inherited,’, and have turned into lemonade as an adult. If you want to and feel comfortable, share yours in the comments as well. I always find this fascinating!

1. I’m an extremely resourceful person. I think this might be because I was an only child and for much of my life, grew up in a single family household.

2. I’m very thankful that as a kid, my family allowed me new books whenever I wanted. I grew up in a household that encouraged reading as much as possible, and I believe this is why I excelled at English in grammar school, and later, written communication in college and in the workplace.

3. My family has always indulged my creative whims. I was allowed to try out lots of different hobbies as a child, and explore art, dance, music, writing, and more in my free time. Continuing on into college, my mother never did much to stop me from whatever my idea of the week was, letting me fail when necessary. This has been key!

4. At the age of 7, I was taught how to use the stove in our kitchen. The first thing I ever cooked at that age was a fried egg. Cue my lifelong interest in food and cooking (and several very happy college roommates).

What about you? What are some of your current ‘lemonade’ traits that you can trace back to your family?

{Image Credit: Treats}



  1. 8.29.12

    My parents left Chicago to raise my sister and me (choosing rural Missouri as home). I used to think I hated my hometown. But now that I live in Alaska and my sister in KCMO, I think we all had it pretty good =) Needless to say, I cannot wait to go back for the holidays.

  2. 8.29.12
    Jaclyn said:

    It is very interesting looking back on the childhood memories you didn’t know would affect you and seeing how they’ve shaped who you are. I can definitely identify with number one. Growing up as an only child with separated parents definitely taught me to be the independent person I am today.

    Lovely post :)

    Stay in the Lines

  3. 8.29.12
    rita said:

    i love this post… thank you!

    i grew up with my family all over the country & world, which helped me to be independent and move wherever i needed to go for my career… i also was fortunate to travel as a kid, and i think my trips to india when i was young have helped me to stay grateful and realize how fortunate i am and how much i can do to help other people… i also grew up feeling different b/c i was indian in a very waspy neighborhood, and now i seek out and appreciate differences!

    i’m so glad you made me think about this. thank you!

  4. 8.30.12

    Great post, V! I share the same first four items as you did, and have to add that I’m grateful that my family picked me up and took me with them on countless trips from childhood. It has widened my world view, made me an expert traveler – and has also given me an insatiable case of wanderlust ;)

  5. 8.30.12

    Love these posts. My family were totally weird hippies growing up in a wealthy over-achieving area. Growing up I hated it and tried to act the opposite, but now I embrace being different and special. I think the more you are just you, the more others respond to you.

  6. 9.1.12

    I loved this post! And the “lemonade traits” – you should write a book! My lemonade is very varied to say the least. From the artistic, low-key, simple balanced life traits I got from my dad; to the over-achieving, jetsetting and ambitious traits I got from my mom… It’s definitely an interesting balancing act!

    Oh and, we need to Skype! :)

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