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The Sister Story

Brother's foot, taken summer 2009.

Can we have a heart-to-heart? Oh, do let's, please!

I am the eldest child of two. My brother is an intelligent, charming, mature young man who is loved by many and has huge (I mean enormous) potential. He works hard and is taking college courses as a senior in high school and bought his own car earlier this past year. It is hard not to compare myself to an eighteen-year-old who is applying to Brown and Swarthmore, is confident and unafraid and fairly certain of where he wants to be in five or ten years, and who is loved and admired by so, so many.

When I was a teenager, I was a wreck. I struggled with - and still struggle with - the effects of emotional and psychological abuse. I didn't know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do; I didn't care for money and only dreamt of traveling the world, making art, and connecting with others on a human level. (I still do.) I struggled against my parents and I didn't have a steady job. I applied to a crappy school and had a crappy experience, and I chose to leave after just one year. And here I am three years later, still waiting for something to happen to me.

It's hard when those close to you seem to achieve and surpass dreams and expectations. It's hard when someone who should be looking up to you seems to be looking down from heights you feel you will never achieve. But - please reassure me - we all have our own paths, yes? We each must measure our own successes with our own yardsticks and rulers; we each have something unique and amazing to give to the world and we each must take our own time to figure out exactly what it is. We must never give up and we must always look ahead.

I choose Hope. Do you?

5 comments:

  1. Ingrid,

    We are all on our own journey my friend and we all take different paths, roads and overcome different struggles all to reach our true self. I can relate very much to what you are feeling and it's when we are true to who we are that we find our path. I'll leave you with this:

    "To realize one's nature perfectly — that is what each of us is here for."
    – Oscar Wilde

    Sending lots of light to you!

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  2. Your path is different, and that is why I KNOW your little brother must look up to you. I'm a middle child, so I know both sides--I may "achieve more" than my older siblings, but I love them for what they do...silly things, crazy things, adventurous things. And I'm constantly surprised by the ways I inspire my younger siblings. They may go years without letting me know I do...and then all the sudden give me one of the best compliments of my life.

    I think you'd be surprised what you little brother thinks of his big sister :)

    Great thoughts...I'm glad I visited.

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  3. I am the youngest of three. My brother and sister are both very smart. They are both already working and living together with their boyfriend/girlfriend. It seems like they have achieved almost everything, while I'm still discovering who I am and what I want.
    So I can relate to your feelings, even though I'm the youngest and you're the oldest.

    But I'm sure it will all turn out alright! We will all find our own paths and be able to do the things that we're talented at.

    I will keep hoping that it will all be just fine!

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  4. thank you to all three of you.. you've brightened up my day significantly!

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  5. We most certainly all do have our very unique paths, Ingrid. I seem to be collecting degrees but I'm no more sure of what I want to do than you are. The most important thing is that we don't give up, that we believe in what we're doing, because somehow our path, whatever it is, turns out right. and no one path is better than another -- the world needs us all; it needs the artists and dreamers and mathematicians and believers. I try to be open to wherever my path takes me, and so far, I've been so happy with where it has taken me (though I haven't always ended up where I thought I would).
    {xoxo}
    P.S. I'm the older sister to a younger brother as well, and it's just the two of us (oh, dear, my mind went straight to that Wil Smith song...)

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