We became family as we walked through the grocery store.


When you think of the word “Family” what does it mean to you? 

My mom always told me that I should never give up on my family. That no matter what they did, you find a way to save them. 


That frustrated me because as much love I got, there were times when I felt betrayed, let down, ignored by my family. 

Moments when I felt I needed assurance and safety I felt abandoned.


I struggled with the term, ‘Family’ for a long time. I couldn’t relate to it as my mom could. 

Since I was little I didn’t understand how someone who loves you so much, can also hurt you so much.


So I kept telling her that it didn’t matter if they are family, I can cut off anyone. 

You judge people by relations you have with them, not the history of blood.

Recently I have been seeing family a bit differently…


I met my best friend, my brother from another mother when I was in middle school. Funny enough I realize and look back that he was the first person who made me feel like I #belong. 


He continues to be my family, 20 years later sometimes more than my own family. We became family as we walked through the grocery store.


We would call each other and say “Hey, let’s go to Metro.” That was our signal to meet at Metro, the grocery store, and walk and talk and get stuff off our chests. 


As we walked through the frozen food section I told him about my mom having cancer and how I wasn’t dealing well with it and that I blamed myself. We walked through the fruit and vegetable section and he told me about his parents getting a divorce and how upsetting and confusing it was. 


We walked through the chip aisle as I told him I wanted to take over Toronto Dance Salsa and he encouraged me. We walked through the bread aisle when he told me people were mocking him for doing artsy, advertising things and I told him not to listen and that he could do it and asked how I could support him.  


It was on those walks that we became family. We listened to and supported each other and became the light for each other on our journey of well-being.


They laugh with you when you laugh, cry with you when you are sad, celebrate your victories with you even if they are not doing well. 


What I learned is too many people focus on the ship and not the relations. 

I never cared about the ship…if the relations are poor.

Pay attention and say it out loud with me:


RELATIONship not relationSHIP 


The good news is that anyone and everyone can become your family. 


I built my whole school on the principle of surrounding myself with people that want the best for me and they feel that I want the best for them.


The family we deserve are the people who believe in all of our possibilities – especially in the moments when we don’t believe in ourselves.


So you can always have a family, stronger than any bond you are born into…


As long as you surround yourself with people who support you on your path to happiness and fulfillment. 

RELATIONship not relationSHIP