“You need to start your real life,” my aunt said.
“I have started my real life,” I replied indignantly from the passenger’s seat. “I’m living it.”
She gave a deep sigh and clutched the steering wheel.
This was not the reaction I’d expected from her when I announced that I was going to travel the world for a year. I had expected a reaction like this from my mother or from many of my eight uncles, but not from my mother’s only sister.
For most of my life, her and I had common ground. We were both teased mercilessly in elementary and middle school. We both struggled with our weight and our self-image. She had advised me through much of my youth and could relate to me even more than my mother could. But this is where the line was drawn.