1. Your family members attempt to feign enthusiasm over your job/interest/hobbies. In reality, there’s a rather unspoken agreement that nobody understands why you enjoy what you enjoy.
2. You’ve been involved in several discussions and informal interventions to try to “fix” you.
3. You’re immune to comments such as “why can’t you be more like _______?” Playing the role of the family’s token black sheep requires you to have thick skin and a self-love attitude.
4. You’ve grown to love being different from the rest of your family. Sometimes you’ll just find a way to have opposing opinions from everyone else just to further establish how different you are.
5. But sometimes you feel like an outsider. It makes coming home for holidays somewhat of a drag because you have to reconfigure your place in the household hierarchy again.
6. When you visit home, you tend to feel like you’re back in high school because of how much you seem to be pissing everyone off with your incongruent opinions and behavior.
7. You feel like the rebel child, minus the leather jacket.
8. If you’re both the oldest child and the black sheep, your parents are openly relieved at how easy parenting is for your younger siblings.
9. Your parents use you as the cautionary tale.
10. You’re very weary and bitter about how much your siblings get away with things you were never ever, ever, ever allowed to do. Their curfews are later, their chores are less enforced, they get to use the car more—*side eye.*
11. As a result, you’re aggressively independent. You don’t hold back on pursuing activities or careers that you are interested in, despite the fact that your parents may not be accepting of them.
12. You hate asking for help when you’re struggling––especially from your family. You would love it if everything worked out flawlessly and you could show off how effortless and carefree it is to follow your own dreams rather than your parents’, but alas, that is almost never the case.
13. You are the center of every argument and bad mood your parents’ may be experiencing. Even if you’re not under the same roof as them, sometimes you’ll get texts from your siblings asking “What did you do? Dad is pissed.”
14. You crossed state lines (or even went across the country) to go to college.
15. And once you left home, you completely deviated from the person you were raised to be.
16. Anytime you return from the sanctity of long distance and come back home, you’re forced to answer a bajillion questions about your personal life.
17. None of your friends have met your family members.
18. It never fails to baffle you when you talk to people who say they never fight with their family. Meanwhile, you’re 21 and got into a physical altercation with your teenage sister when you were home for four days over Thanksgiving break.