Family is special, whether it’s as traditional as a mother, father, and siblings, or whether it’s your best friends. And if you were lucky growing up, your parents taught you who you are and helped guide you. They may have showered you with presents or lessons, but there was always love.
You may have had rough times and disagreements, but at the end of the day they still and will always love you. Someone once told me that being a parent is similar to being salt in a recipe. Add too much or too little and the dish is ruined, but with the right amount, you’ll have the most amazing dish in the world.
However, salt is not the only ingredient that can shape a dish. Similarly, there are many students on this campus who can share different stories with you. Stories about missing parents or being an only child and maybe one who passed because of disease or military service are among the common ones. Maybe you will meet a person who is an orphan or one that has been abused, but everyone is a dish in the making.
Yet, family is undoubtedly important, biologically related or by choice.
Sometimes to replace the missing important ingredients that others do not have, we choose others that can make our recipe flourish. A bit of garlic or some cayenne pepper can change a dish in instrumental ways. That’s where friends play a role as both chefs and seasonings. They will create intense, yet subtle, and subtle changes to dishes that our parents started.
You’ll find friends that add a bit of heat to your actions, some sweetness to your words, and some depth to your world. They will change you in ways your biological family will not be able to do. So keep them in mind and in your heart.
Lastly, the person who shapes the recipe the most is you. You are the most important ingredient in this dish.
You are part of your own family; you choose who influences your actions and thoughts. Your experiences, your memories, and your attitude are defined only by you. Sometimes there will be incidents that are out of your control, but how you approach them and handle them is up to you.
Most people forget that you are part of their family. You are a component in someone else’s dish as much as they are in yours. Food is meant to be shared, so do not forget to keep yourself from spoiling or you may ruin another’s recipe.
Family, whether biological or chosen, is family. Love them when you can and do not be afraid to add or lessen their additions. At the end of the day, the aromas of your dish, of your life, are shaped by those you let in.
Never forget to appreciate your family. They love you. They add flavor to who you are.