Today is my sister’s birthday. I can’t believe I’ve been lucky enough to have a sister like her for almost 31 years now. Every year on her birthday I can’t help but reflect— selfish as it may be— on how different my life would have been without her.
I’ve always held my mom as the most important, and most pivotal, person in my life (after all, she is (a) my mom & (b) she adopted me), but my sister is a very close second.
Hence, why I’ve always said, “I don’t know how other girls and women function in life without a sister.” For one, I truly don’t know, as in, I cannot even begin to possibly fathom such an experience because I have, in fact, grown up with a sister; But secondly, I say this because in a world rife with sexism, in which the majority of every female life is fraught with eating disorders, sexual assault, criticism for either being too “ugly” or too “pretty”, teen pregnancy, and other discernibly gendered problems, well… having a sister may not save you from any one of these particular issues, nor may it make any such experience easier, but… having a sister can give you the greatest, most understanding companion a girl could ever dream of having while trudging on through this world. Also, she may potentially be the one and only person who will understand your tears of fanaticism when you, at age 8, see Paula Abdul in person, shopping at the same mall as you.
If it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t have much of the bubbly sense of humor that I have today. If it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t have had any sex education during my teens, like… at all.
If it wasn’t for my sister, I would have probably felt completely alone from age 12-17, as opposed to just mostly/semi-alone. If it wasn’t for my sister, I would have never done as many open mic nights as I did when I was younger, singing and playing the guitar in front of complete strangers, with her singing right beside me.
If it wasn’t for my sister, I may have never learned the first thing about empathy & compassion until much too late in life. If it wasn’t for my sister, I would have never learned at such a young age what true beauty is.
If it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t have made such a great manager throughout my retail career (she trained me in my first supervisor position & her work ethic really stuck with me.)
If it wasn’t for my sister, I would have never had some of the greatest experiences/best days/best nights of my life (I’m already thinking of about five of em right off the bat… remember that first house party you took me to when I was 15? where I got drunk off screwdrivers while watching “Absolutely Fabulous!” with your friends..?)
FACT: One of the highlights of 2012 for me was not only flying out to Arizona for a whole 24 hours in order to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday with him (& in the midst of my first semester of law school, I might add), but helping clean up after his party with my sister, all the while both of us singing along to one of the greatest albums of all time: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation.
My sister may be tall, with dirty blonde hair and green eyes, while I’m petite with dark hair and dark eyes, but man are we sisters. Our physical disparities may belie our relation, but our personalities most definitely do not. Thanks to my sister for being a best friend, an educator, a second mom while ours was doing the single mom thing, and for always having such a great sense of humor. Also, I didn’t send you a card, so I hope this’ll do.
HBD BIG SIS!