Subconscious nocturnal processing strikes again. This time, however, I wonder if its not just old age catching up with me - or more specifically, previously ignored universal truths being thrust upon me. My father is all about blood being thicker than water - that the most important thing we have is family. Not having grown up in a large family (and what extended family I did have being either at odds with one another or far too diverse for any real cohesive relationships to form) I grew accustomed to a smaller family model, one I recreated in my own image a generation later (and wonder now if my own children may not do the same).
I used to explain to my wife that the idiom, "you can choose your friends but not your family" absolutely integrated spousal choice into the family circle, which means it wasn't entirely accurate, as we (most of us in the Western Hemisphere get to) choose our own spouse. So in a way, we can choose both our friends and our family to a certain degree.
The weekend I spent in Albuquerque I studied in-depth my own children's MBTI - the personality type indicator based on Carl Jung's four dichotomies and reveled in them. In my experience, INTJs spend very little time, "looking back" which is an earmark of the INTP (among others, presumably) for the purpose of forward-movement through comparison. My disassociation with extended family has never impacted my quality of life, which led me to simply assume my father's viewpoint was either a personality trait, or a byproduct of the era in which he was raised. Its also entirely possible it may be some combination of the two. Regardless, no impact to my own life. My brother is so diametrically opposite to myself in every conceivable way, we've never been what some might call, "close." This hasn't really impacted me because growing up in that manner paves the way for it to be normal, perspective-wise. You never miss what you've never experienced. And of course we all have our own lives to live, independent from one another.
Old people fascinate me. Their beliefs. How they choose to spend their time. What is important to them. And, "family" often resonates atop that list. And while I have no doubt I will want to remain active in my own children's lives as my parents were in mine, I also assume I'll operate from a stance of autonomy. My parents let me live my own life as they lived theirs. But where does extended family fit into this scenario future? To my old way of thinking, nowhere. The past is always too far away when you're moving at the speed of life.
While I can usually pick out why I dreamed a particular thing - an errant thought earlier in the day I was not conscious of at the time - this time I cannot; fascinating in and of itself. Hence the suggestion that perhaps the roosters coming home to roost are revealing universal truths to me that I have been previously unaware. What I thought was simply a choice may actually be a law of nature, that being, family. I dreamed of one of my childhood cousins. We were traveling together, at night, alone in a car, and discussing philosophy and ideas and beliefs and sociology and excitedly asking and answering a lifetime of questions about the cosmos and our place in it. Something which has never taken place in the real world.
I awoke confused, because as adults, we do not know one another, yet I felt sure that I was privvy to new information. A lifetime of subconscious cues coming to fruition in the most overt way possible for me - my dreams. I've started watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and halfway through the first season Dr. Christina Yang did something which made me exclaim, "OMG SHE'S AN INTJ!" Sure enough, after having been met with skepticism, I found where someone had typed the characters. So it was with my cousin. I asked her - out of the blue - and so was she (I had assumed if she was an INTJ she would know it - most of us do).
What does this mean for my future? I don't know. But as with most of my subconscious nocturnal processing, I feel I will likely be forever aware of an alternate perspective now that I have integrated new ideas into my psyche.