• tori duhaime

I am a Family Person

I love that feeling of inherent belonging. I’m a very independent person though, and it’s taken a lot for me to understand that independence isn’t contingent upon loving my family.


If it isn’t too bold, I’ll claim I have the best one. My parents, brother, and I are very close. We have a group chat that’s chock full of conversation points that are both difficult and hilarious. We’re a family of diverting paths: My brother, a butcher with a heart of gold who sticks out among his peers. My parents, world travelers who let us tease them and educate them from a younger perspective (OK boomer is a delightful topic for us currently). We’ve always been the family that shows up for each other and celebrates every small or large success. Our family is extended beyond blood with 11+ exchange students we’ve hosted throughout my life and all the childhood friends who still know they can show up at any of our houses when needed.


But we don’t really do holidays together anymore except on the rare occasion and honestly I love it. It’s not that we don’t want to spend time together, its that our time isn’t reliant on predetermined celebrations. We cross paths when time allows and call when we can match our timezones. We don’t see distance as a factor of love. My brother spent a year in Japan in high school, I spent two years in Alabama in college, my parents spent 3+ years abroad as teachers and continue to be on the move. Reunions are less frequent but very special.


Which is why my chosen family means so much to me, these three right here. Our dynamic is much like my childhood: a healthy amount of teasing, a lot of adventures, and healthy tiffs to keep it interesting. I spend the holidays with them usually tucked in the desert or up in the peaks because that's what I was raised to do with the time everybody else is inside.


I’m a family person because I have the privilege of having a spectacular one, both immediate and chosen. You’re invited in, always. We aren’t home as much as we used to be for you to stop by but family is a right if you ask me and if you need a family, well, welcome.

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2020 Tori Duhaime

photographer + movement artist