For the first 33 years of my life, the concept of family didn’t hold much weight. I’m reasonably close to my immediate family; mother, father, and two sisters, and sort of close to the grandparents that are still alive. But my overall feeling toward family is far removed from the “blood is more important than anything” narrative put forth in countless movies and television shows. Let’s just say, if I was Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy, I would have jumped on my bike, and left SAMCRO and Charming midway through Season 1. Loyalty shmoyalty.
My apathy towards family is easily explained. I was brought up in a relative small family, with aunties, uncles, cousins living far enough away that visits were once, maybe twice a year. Part of this apathy also stems from being a white Australian. I’m proud to be Australian but as far as ancestry goes, Australia isn’t home. I don’t have history here. There’s barely anything that connects me to the country, and even less that connects me to the city I’ve grown up in, as much as I love it.
The underlying factor to all of this is that I have no idea where I come from. Where are my ancestors from? What did they believe in? What did they fight for?
Does it matter? What is it about family that rules above all else for so many people? Do they feel an extra connection, or do they simply think they have to act that way because society expects them to? Does understanding your roots, your history, and who your ancestors are, change anything?
Before I answer those questions above, I’ll do a bit of a search. Not a life-changing, job-quitting, soul-searching, 100% devotion to traveling the globe in search of my bloodline, search. But a lazier, mouse-clicking, online-scouring search of where my roots may lie. Based on my surname, the best guess at this point is Scotland but maybe I can narrow it down to a town or city.
I’ll keep you updated as to how far I get. Then maybe, just maybe, I can start to work out what this family business is all about.