We're all musicians, so my guess is many of us have dealt with this. I had a growing experience last night and just felt like sharing.... An Uncle of mine passed away and I had to go to the wake. I knew there would be lots of relatives I haven't seen in years present, and I also knew what a lot of them have thought of me in the past. And sometimes justifiably. I did, in the past, drink a lot and lead the life of a derelict of sorts, but that's no longer the case. None the less, I wasn't looking forward to it. I'm still not leading any kind of a lifestyle that they approve of. I, in their eyes will "never change", "never grow up", and, "never get a real job". My experience: 1st and most importantly I guess I should say that a lot of what I was thinking was more in my head than in reality. The people there were rather accepting of me and actully interested in my music career. They were telling me about their kids who they were excited just started playing drums , and i had a lot of nice conversations. As we were getting thrown out of the funeral parlor (seems odd to me that the leave the dead body all alone like that all night long), my least favorite, most judgemental, most vocal, aunt and uncle decided to join my brother's family and I at the diner. I don't think I've spoken to this guy my entire life due to my disdain for him and his opinions. We get to the diner and as fate would have it - he sits right next to me, my aunt right across from me. My mood ring turned instantly black and my young neice was sure to make note of it. I learned something big though, for me at least. It takes some people longer than others, but I finally, honestly, don't care what these or any other people think of me. Doh! Kinda like I've arrived. I'm OK with my life. Sure, there's things I'd still like to have and things I aspire towards, but I'm proud of who I've become - and that definitely has NOT always been the case. I was more concerned with my liking him, than him liking me. Even bettter news. With me being out of the equation , i actually started to like the guy. 14yrs ago he had an accident that led to getting his leg amputated. After 14 yrs. i spoke with him about the experience. He recently started traveling around giving talks on his expereinece in order to help others. He was pretty nice guy, with a sharp and cutting sense of humor. I had a super cool time finally getting to know him. He even invited me over to take me to the factory that makes his leg cuz he thought i'd find it interesting. The moral of my story: If yer like me and think the whole family hates you, don't shy away - stick yer assumed hated head in their faces and get to know them. Keep an open mind and perhaps you too shall be surpirsed. My godly work for the day is done. I shall now step down from the pulpit.