I cannot wait to have my own family one day. I am most looking forward to building a strong, healthy family unit.
I want my family to break the stigma and stereotypes that are placed upon black families. These being broken, unstable homes, absent fathers, and, my main concern, unhealthy or no communication at all.
I come from a family where communication is encouraged. However, this was not always the standard. My family has been through a great deal. Though our situations have made us stronger, we did not actually talk about our reality until after an incident. Many emotions that we harbored were revealed that exposed a lot of trauma that is still fresh. If these feelings had been spoken about during the hardship, this would have fostered an even stronger and more trustworthy relationship between us. In addition, my siblings and I would not have felt alone in dealing with what we were feeling.
Though beneficial communication has not always been the standard within my family, everything is a work in progress. We have ways that we cope through difficult times, ways that we uplift and encourage one another, and ways that we simply are present for each other. Whether it be family game nights, dinner outings, or intense Nerf® gun fights in the living room—we add fun and light to our relationship. In addition, we recognize that there may be times when we simply need to sit down and talk. Everyone gets everything off of their chest and we just check in with each other. These methods, though they may not be extreme measures, are effective for us. Problems continue to be addressed and avoided through these ways that we come together as a unit.
My goal is to give my children a better life than I have had—I do not want them to feel alone. I will feel accomplished if they do not struggle with the same things that I did. Fostering a healthy environment where they can talk to not only me, but anyone in the family, is a goal of mine. I will set the standard to communicate before things get hard. This will allow for us to communicate about anything, not just the difficult. All of it—the good, the bad, the ugly. Healthy communication will be the norm.
Written By Maia Wells
I am 19 years old, born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I am currently about to graduate with my Associates in Arts degree, then pursue a journalism degree at a four year university. Writing is my first love, but I also have a deep adoration for the arts. One day, I hope to own my own news network surrounding music and culture in communities of color.