Thanksgiving really made me thankful for my family. I basically bawled when my sister and I were skyping with each other that day. I was just so sad that this past holiday was the first holiday (ever) that I had been apart from my family. All I wanted to do was cuddle with my mother, talk life with my father, and jokingly banter with my ever-loving older sister.
My sister and I have always had our ups and downs. I don't really think that we started getting along until we both parted to go to university. She went down the direction of Greek life and I went down the path of collegiate athletics (who was I kidding?) There is nothing wrong with sororities, it just wasn't for me (trust me, I tried rushing). But for my sister it was, and she became an even more social and well-rounded person. I did become more social as well (a modern day miracle, for real) but we had so many differences. Living in harmony is hard being so close in age. We are one year and 18 days apart. Talk about experiencing things at the same time! If I did something and my sister did something similar, we would have totally different outlooks on it. Not only that, but we both thought we were right. It was hard to learn from another.
As much as I feel sad to be apart from my sister now, I feel blessed for the distance as well. She resides in Chicago and I in Los Angeles. We are learning how to survive by ourselves and without the influence of the other. But I cannot say that I am who I am without my sister being part of the reason. I always looked up to her when I was younger and I always wanted to be like her. When we were growing up, we both became awkward and just trying to survive school social circles. She quickly became popular and I was the art kid who stayed after school secluded in the art room. As much as I hated the whole popularity thing, I did long to have friends like she did. I never really had a whole ton of friends because I just kept to myself. My mother, my pens, and my art teacher (who always drank dry martinis with two olives at the restaurant which I worked) were my best friends.
Going off to university changed everything. We still bickered like feral cats fighting over territory (maybe even worse), but we learned to accept each other as we were. We learned that we will not be able to change the other person. We can only change ourselves. Once we people see the change in others, they may be more willing to adapt. And once I learned that my sister will always be the person she has evolved to be, I became less hateful. Less jealous. Even if you don't have siblings, you can still relate when I say you cannot compare yourself to other's successes. I did that way too much. I wasn't pretty enough, I didn't have enough boyfriends, I didn't have enough friends. You have so many successes of your own, that you cannot measure yourself against another human being and they cannot measure themselves against you. Every little thing is a success. I moved out to California on my own, I have my own talents and passions, I try to help people in my job that otherwise wouldn't know where to go to get help, I know Mr. Right will come along when the time is right, etc. Each one of these, no matter how small, is a success. My sister is a different individual than I am, and her successes are just as unique.
My sister means the world to me, although she may not believe it, and I hope that people who have their siblings still with them can really appreciate them for who they are. Show your love in any way you can. An email, an actual letter, a photograph, a flower, a painting, a phone call, a text. And if you do not have siblings your should try to appreciate your parents and your friends. Friends can become brothers and sisters too if you just let them. As cliché as it sounds, you don't know when you won't be able to show your appreciation anymore. The only moment we are promised is now.
Sister to sister we will always be, A couple of nuts off the family tree.
So Caroline, just so you know, I admit it. I like you.