I’m 29 years old, and I’m an only child with two deceased parents. Nuclear family of one, so to speak.
If I were under the age of 18, I would legally be under the care of a guardian. If I were a couple decades older, I may be in good company. Instead, I’m right smack in the middle. Young adulthood. Where you’re out on your own, pursuing a graduate degree or career, but family (typically multiple generations of family) surrounds you. I’m not young enough to warrant legal guardianship and not old enough for heads to nod in an empathetic “circle of life” kind of way. I’m the exception to the proverbial rule of familial evolution.
In fact, a common reaction I receive — from both friend and stranger — is pure wonder: How in the world did you go through that?
A question quickly followed by fearful reverence: There is no way I could do that.
My purpose of writing this blog is twofold. First, I would like to answer the above question. I’ll share my thoughts and feelings as they relate to experiences being an exception. The good, the peculiar and (believe it or not) the unexpectedly hilarious.
Second, during the process, I’ll search for other exceptions. Not only nuclear families of one, but people who have suffered hardships that leave them feeling like a sample size of one. I believe that the commentary wrapped around our stories will resonate, closing the distance of wonder and fear, and empowering others to confront being the exception with strength.