I apologize in advanced because I don’t like to post things that are serious or even semi-serious because that’s not how I know how to deal with things. I joke around a lot and sidetrack conversations because it’s really the only coping mechanism I have. I see the humor in a lot of things that maybe shouldn’t even be funny. And I blame my Lauck blood on that.
But my life is a constant conflict between the want to keep moving and to leave those that I love behind, as it’s difficult to make the two coexist. It’s hard to be a loyal and good daughter/niece/cousin/friend/granddaughter when you are far away from those you love. But traveling back to Indianapolis a few weeks ago was a good way to clear my head and get my life back in line when it felt a bit off-kilter.
I very much identify as a Lauck, so being able to see the majority of my massive extended family in one sitting makes it hard to catch up with everyone, but is one the most positive, invigorating experiences a person could have.
I firmly believe that everyone should want to be a part of my family. As dysfunctional as we may be at times, I learned a fierce, mafia-like loyalty from them. They are the people that still reach out to me even though I’m halfway across the country and support my constant travel and relocating. So seeing them always gives me a good push in the right direction.
I can keep moving on, but I will always have the finger on the pulse of my roots and what is important. And as much as I hate being away during the big moments, I am always thinking about them, and I know they understand the sacrifice that comes with being born with the travel bug.
Learning that my uncle is Facebook friends with the new owner of Lauck funeral home (which was formerly run by my great grandparents) and gets invites to the Christmas parties made me both jealous and proud. Then finding out that my cousin was also “friends” with him and discussing how I got the shaft and what I would have to do to be this stranger’s friend and qualify for a Christmas party invite is a very real example of a Lauck conversation.
As is the fact that on the way home, my mother said, “It’s like I’ve always said, ‘Be a hairdresser, or be a mortician. Job security.” And the ensuing outrage from my brother and I claiming that we had never heard her utter this statement in our lives, as if perhaps it would change the course of our life decisions.
Or listening to my grandma share unbelievable stories about like how her brother once intentionally pushed a playhouse sideways with her in it and proceeded to light it on fire while she couldn’t get out and was saved by the neighbor.
Or being greeted by my brother for the first time since being back as he comes out of my parents bathroom, claiming to have blown it up, but jokes that “it’s fine because mom and dad have a maid now so she can flush it for me.”
We are a weird tight knit bunch. My grandfather was the glue to my family, and when he died a decade ago (the annual celebration of his life was the reason we were all out together in the first place), I learned the value of what exactly that person meant to me in a different way than I knew before.
And I aspire to be the glue in life. I will never be Jack Lauck quality glue, but it’s a trait I’ve admired since I was a child and always given it a good effort.
It’s hard to be loyal to people that you don’t know, and I still keep people at arms length for a long time. But once someone makes it in the inner circle, they are as good as family to me. And that loyalty runs deep.
Like the friend I have from high school whose son calls me “Aunt Carly” and she lets me hang around even though I’m likely the worst influence he could have as an adult human. He melts my heart of stone as he runs around the house at the age of three asking me all kinds of questions as he is always eavesdropping on my conversations with his mother.
“Today’s Friday though, Aunt Carly.”
“I know, I was telling your mom I’m leaving on Tuesday. I’m going back to Seattle.”
“I don’t know why you keep going back to that place.”
“I don’t either, but someone’s gotta keep the Space Needle there, I suppose,” thinking that would be decent answer for a child since I couldn’t throw at him the life problems of jobs/rent/insurance/basic struggle for survival as an adult that doesn’t give me the leniency to move as soon as I’d like to.
He looked at me like I was nuts and just said, “Where would it go?” as if I legitimately had no reason to go back and was not fooling him.
I shrugged it off and laughed, figuring he could have this one.
Or my friend, Katie, who works harder than anyone I know, but somehow makes time to see me every time I make it back, even if that’s just for a coffee. She’s a friend that flew out here to see me last year for my birthday, and is one of those people there is never an awkward moment of trying to catch up with each other.
We’ve been through a lot as friends, and it’s as if no time has passed each time we meet up, even though now it may only be two or three times a year.
They are two of many friends I am fiercely loyal to, and expect and receive the same thing back. It’s hard to keep up with people, but they are two who keep me grounded through the weirdest of times.
So when I flew out of Indianapolis, exhausted, spread way too thin in the best of ways, I also left feeling my cup runneth over with good juju. I have been having a weird time about turning 30 that I never saw coming until it snuck up and bit me in January.
After the Indy trip, I was reminded of everything that matters and keeps me grounded. As much as I want to be the glue, part of that means it’s reciprocated when you are struggling.
I did not want to turn 30 in Seattle. And I’m going to have to do that. But no matter where I’m located, I’m lucky enough to know that I have people that support my crazy life decisions no matter where I go, and aren’t afraid to knock some sense into me when I need it the most.