It happened on a Thursday night - one of those standard, typical Oxford nights out at the sweaty, overly-packed club that is Bridge. I had probably drunk a little too much and I was probably overtired, exhausted and just ready for the term to be over. Despite the combination of factors, though, I still think my answer would have been the same. The alcohol and fatigue just meant that my subconscious thoughts were more prevalent; I had never really given it a lot of thought sober.
"What's your biggest concern in life?"
When I was asked this by someone who, I assume, was either a) looking for a deep conversation, or b) (the most likely option) trying to hit on me, the automatic answer that came out of my mouth shocked me. My drunk self didn't even need to think about the question: there was no hesitation whatsoever.
I will never know anyone who is biologically related to me.
And once those words were out of my mouth and I had processed what I had just said, I couldn't help but let that fact truly sink in. My drunk self covered my face in horror at what I had just admitted, not just to a stranger, but to myself. It was something that I had never really thought about; something I had never contemplated and definitely something I had never fully come to terms with. Tears began to escape from my eyes before I knew it but I hurriedly brushed them away.
But that's what is missing in my life. It's something that will always be missing and nothing can change that fact.
I am the one and only person I know in my biological family.
Even as I type this now I'm pushing my feelings away into that little cardboard box right at the back of my mind, exactly how I did that drunk night at Bridge. And I guess I've only just realised now that that's what I tend to do: I push my feelings away instead of confronting them.
Knowing and having a relationship with people who are biologically related to you is something I think many take for granted. Yes, being blood-related doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get on well - heck, most families have their own issues regardless of whether they all share the same blood, but it's still something that I will neither know nor have (until I bear children of my own, but that's a whole different story). It's the little, simple things that I'll never know and which are perhaps the hardest to accept: who do I get my eyes from? Which parent do I most look like? Do I have any biological siblings? Where do I get my stubbornness from?
It took one question on one of those standard, typical Oxford nights out at the sweaty, overly-packed club that is Bridge. One question to make me recognise and acknowledge that this is what is missing in my life. And this is what will always be missing.