Now, I know I’m going to sound pretty biased, but a lot of my relatives are really awesome.
My uncle and aunt, for example, are film producers who have produced the likes of The Sapphires, Lockie Leonard, Felony, Holding the Man, and ABC’s new drama/sci fi series Cleverman. They travel all over the world for films, awards, and the like, and are just generally pretty badass.
My great uncle is a former Australian diplomat who worked throughout Asia, as well as a respected academic/author on Asian-Australian policy and relations. He recently wrote an article for the Age about the future of Australia and the role women could play in it. My university library has most of his books. (His partner is equally as badass, if you were wondering).
My grandma (who my brothers and I lovingly call Jocie) worked at the University of Melbourne for years, where she helped develop relations with Vietnam, and now volunteers at the Queenscliff Museum (she’s been president since forever). She has floor-to-wall shelves filled with books on literally everything, and she knows so much about history, politics, and basically everything else!
And that’s only three(ish) examples! I haven’t even gotten onto my parents yet!
Why am I telling you this? Let’s be honest, it’s not highly likely you actually care that I’m related to these people (even though you should).
I’m telling you this because I didn’t know most of it until very recently. I mean, I knew my uncle and aunt were film producers, but I didn’t really understand what that meant or why it was significant. I knew my great uncle was a badass, that he was into history and writing, but never that he spent most of his life doing exactly what I want to do (possibly). I knew Jocie worked in the museum because we spent quite a bit of time there as kids, but I didn’t know how heavily involved she was. And I really, really wish I had known.
It’s so easy for us to see our relatives, particularly our grandparents, in a bubble. They’re just ‘nan’, or ‘pop’, or ‘Jocie’. They’re our parents parents. They buy us sweets and teach us things and look after us when mum and dad need to go out. But who they are outside of that often gets lost. And I think, particularly once we’re no longer children but teenagers or adults with our own interests, it’s good to find out what our relatives do, what they’re passionate about, how badass they are.
Let me know if you have any relatives that are badass like mine! Or, if you have no idea (and you still can), ask them. If your relatives are anything like mine, they’ll LOVE talking about it, and you’ll probably learn that you have more in common than you first thought!