Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Annie, Get Your Gun.

My warm welcome to Blogspot.

Where to begin? I came across my sister's diary this afternoon (she assuredly assumes I haven't a clue where she hides it) and began flipping through the pages only to find endearing stories of her middle school world, little clippets into the life she leads at school, her friends, and how she looks at the world. And I couldn't help but steal from her an entry that simply read:

Do you think having a very mean, rude, opinionated older sister can have an impact on your entire life for the worst? yes.

I immediately, and selfishly I'll admit, placed the blame on my other sister for causing my sister to even question this. But I began thinking, and did even more wondering about the question she asked herself. In turn, I asked myself:

How much influence do I really have on my siblings?

I have two younger sisters for whom I strive to be the perfect student, athlete, community activist, etc. I volunteer, I play instruments, I read, I rarely do anything that my parents frown upon, I abstain from typical teenager stupidities (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.). But how have these decisions really affected my sisters? I asked my sisters to imagine themselves at my age and what kind of person they'd like to be. Their answers correlated almost exactly to the kind of life I lead. Now, perhaps they felt they needed to respond accordingly because I was the one who had asked them in the first place. But I'd like to put more faith into them than that and opt to answer my question optimistically: I've had a great influence on my siblings, and will continue to do so until otherwise notified.

As reassuring as this is, this worries me. Yes, I've worked extremely hard to get to this place in life where I am my sisters' role model. But I also want them to understand that they need to be themselves to figure themselves out without my help just as much as I still need to find myself. I'm not asking for them to revoke my role model status, but perhaps for a little wiggle room: room for mistakes, room for the fear of failing, room for exploration and discovery without having my sisters follow my every move.

Just a thought.

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