We’ve all got them. Some of us like eclairs. Plain old-fashioned. Sprinkles. Some of us would rather go next door and grab a slice of pizza or a burrito. Although we don’t all agree on the best snack choice, this disagreement is hardly likely to cause a permanent rift with those in disagreement.

Though this holds true for crullers and glazed twists, it tends to be limited to the more cosmetic details of our lives.

I’m something of a black sheep in my family. Loved all the same, my lifestyle and decisions over the past 32 years have been somewhat contrary to those predicted when I was born. Although I have always been outspoken about my various differences, they are so very far from the mark, that there are quite a few that I’ve kept to myself.

I had harbored the very real fear that if I were to express my very different belief systems, my family may never speak to me again.

In the past two years or so, a new fear has begun to take precedence over this: The fear that my family and friends may never know me at all.

This new fear has encouraged me to unsteady the seas of my relationships, both with my immediate family and outside. It hasn’t always been easy, and in some respects the first fear has come true.

However, what I have gained, is an opportunity (even if not yet completely seized), to have genuine relationships, where generous lies are tossed aside and real communications are held. They are often more painful, more rigid and more exasperating than the proverbial path of least resistance.  They also have the capacity to hold the high positive emotions. They are something of the romantic response to the classic and baroque periods.

I think it’s a good trade off . . . but that’s just my opinion.