I’ve mentioned my sister a lot on this blog before. She’s a blogger, like me, and I’m proud to say that I am the person who encouraged her to start a blog in the first place. Almost a year ago, we decided to trade guest posts. She, being the writer that she is, wrote one for me immediately.
I intended for this post to go up on hers. But as I was staring at the page, trying to write a post about literature or our differing music tastes, I couldn’t write anything but this:
My sister is my best friend. As we like to inform people, we are Irish twins, which means we were born fourteen months apart. (Our poor mother, we know.) Up until I left for college three years ago, we shared a room and just about everything else. We grew up playing together all the time. My childhood memories consist of me and her playing with Barbies, me and her playing with stuffed animals, me and her playing outside. “Playing a story,” we called it. We were both always into stories. We played together, either with just each other or also with our brother or friends, until we hit the preteen years. I remember things changing a bit when I hit about 12.
I’m the oldest child. Statistically, this means I’m independent, and that is true for me. When I began to realize that there was more of a world out there, with boys and colleges and new friends that were just mine, I began to draw away from her. She would ask to play with me and I would lose interest too fast. At first, I didn’t know why that was. I wished I could be interested in Barbies still, but I wasn’t. I didn’t want to play at life anymore. I wanted to begin to live it.
Throughout high school, college was my focus. I wanted to get out and learn and live on my own, away from my family, where I could make my own decisions. For that first year of college, I sucked at communicating. My mom complained that I never called, and my sister tried to Skype me, but it always seemed that I was rushing off somewhere. I barely talked to anyone.
While I was off doing my own thing, my sister grew up. She formed her own great group of friends and got involved in theater and got herself a very good job and became a great 4H leader. And now, as regular readers of this blog will know, she is getting ready to go off on a grand six-month adventure where she’ll grow in ways she never imagined and get to do things she never thought she’d do, and all of this lines up perfectly with what she wants to do with her life in the eventual future. As always, my temptation right now is to compare our lives and accomplishments and feel that I’ve fallen short, because she is just a phenomenal person. But we’ve talked about that together before, too.
We are similar and different in fascinating ways. We both adore words, but she enjoys classics and poetry and is a self-named purist, while I love YA and memoirs and some literary fiction. We’re both intelligent, but have different academic interests — she is more into science than I am and prefers German over Spanish. We’re both introverted, but she tends to be more talkative overall, spilling her inner monologue to those she trusts, while I keep mine mostly to myself.
We are incredibly different people, and at somewhat different places in life, so it’s hugely unfair to compare us. I know this, and I’m guilty of it anyway. But this comparison and sometime-feeling of inadequacy and — I have to admit — jealousy is reduced to nothing when I think about the fact that she’s MY sister, and I am so incredibly proud of her.
My sister is an amazing human being. We are each other’s confidants even if we haven’t talked in weeks. Although we don’t discuss everything (just because we don’t live together anymore), we can discuss anything. And we are very good at admitting our differences in beliefs and outlooks and discussing them in an intelligent manner. Mostly what I’m trying to say with this rambling paragraph is that I really love my sister, and I’m so excited for the trip she’s about to go on, and I’m really going to miss her while she’s gone.
Honestly, I wish everyone had a sister like mine.