I always thought the world would make more sense as I grew older, but it has only become fuzzier. This was in part of a recent discovery of my role models. I use to view my icons in such high esteem that if they were to come across a body of water they would be able to saunter across it. Everyone holds their role models in a positive light, but for me it was almost unrealistic and yet they never let me down-As if I never saw their flaws.

Not to say I don’t still adore my idols it’s just that a recent realization has altered my perception.

Do you remember the first time you realized your icons were human? It’s a strange concept to realize, what you admire has flaws. The person, who you strive to be like, does not have life figured out.

Of course I know my icons (or my parents and grandparents,) are of flesh, bones and everything else that comes with being a Homosapien. I just assumed since I admire them so much they automatically know everything there was to know about life. They know all the rights and wrongs, the blacks and whites and they were never lost or confused or stumbled into any blunders. I thought they had a complete, utter, grasp on life.

The situation that fogged up the window I see life through started last semester. My whole family was fighting. For the first time I saw what it meant to fight with family-your own kin. I was considered an adult and thus heard every nasty thing that was said, and saw every tear drop sliding down every face-no one was safe, it was brutal and all I wanted was to shake it away. I saw how a few assumptions and deep dark grudges could rip apart the soul of a family, a family that was seamless months before.

I saw characteristics that no one wants to associate with the ones they love. I saw festering grudges, back stabbing, assumptions, childish name calling and stubbornness. I saw my family members act toward each other in such a way I wondered if all these years I had just blocked out the conflict, or something had changed, someone must have done something so catastrophic that the trust and friendship could never be rebuilt.

What do you do? Whose side do you take? How do you compute all of this and still look at your role models with the same admiration? You just do. I love my family-I am also frustrated and confused by them, but most of all I know to be patient with my family because that is what they have taught me. In every situation you have to examine your role. My role in the conflict, (although mediocre) needed to be readjusted. What I saw was that no family lives like the Clever family from “Leave it to Beaver,” and maybe for once we should all stop being so hard on each other. My job was to make sense of it all while being a support system to the family who was relentlessly a support system for me.

You can definitely never choose your family, but I would never choose any other family than mine. One thing you can choose is what you learn from your family. I have learned to examine my family as people not as superficial heroes. How could you expect someone to walk on water or read your mind or know the black from white in this world? You can’t because there will always be a grey, there will always be the fence post. Instead I see my models for whom they are and what they have achieved. I see them for how real they are. I see them so perfectly flawed and honest and loving for evermore. Every day is a learning experience. My heroes don’t fly or have laser vision, but they are humble enough to admit that when it comes to life they are still learning.