Mark Graham on How Family Relationships Change With Age

In Chapter 4 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Mark Graham answers "How Are Your Family Relationships Changing as You Get Older?" Graham, who lives in New York City, talks about the challenges of not being close by to his parents and siblings, who are Michigan, and finding ways to better keep in touch.  He adds how getting married in the past year has given him a new family support system of in-laws. 

Mark Graham is currently a managing editor at VH1, an MTV Networks company. Previously Graham worked in editing and writing roles at New York Magazine and Gawker Media.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English. 


Erik Michielsen: How are your family relationships changing as you get older?

Mark Graham: Family relationships have been a challenge. And by that I mean not through any sort of relationship crises or anything like that, but having distance away from my family. I live here in New York City now. My family is back in Michigan. My mother, my father, my brother, they all live out there, and so there are clearly challenges, you know, particularly as I’m in my first year of marriage right now, you know, it’s really important for Megan and myself to really continue to build and grow our relationship and really sort of solidify that foundation. And so consequently I haven’t had as much time to get back home and spend time with my immediate family back home. 

So that’s definitely been a real challenge and it’s something I’ll sort of candidly admit that I have not been really great at and something I want recognize and improve upon in the future to get home more, to call more, you know, to email and text more, like my mom just got an iPhone which is exciting, so I can text now instead of, you know, exclusively relying on the Sunday night phone conversations and things like that. 

So, you know, that’s been a real change in my life and, you know, I’ve also gained new family through the course of being married as well. My in-laws are here in the city. They’re up in Westchester, which is a 20-25 minute train ride north of the city. And it’s been fantastic to build a relationship with them and to have somebody here who’s close, who you can lean on. Not exactly in the same way that you lean on your family that you grew up with, but they’ve been an incredible support system through all of the rigors of getting married and going and moving and all of that fun stuff building a new life together. 

So relationships continue to change and continue to evolve and I want to continue to place emphasis on family, and particularly my family back in Michigan, getting to spend more time with them in the future is something I need to spend more time and focus on.