Friday, November 10, 2006

Sisterhood


My sister is eight years older than me, and largely because of our age difference, and because she has lived in Oregon for the past sixteen years, our time spent together has been limited to family gatherings. Our views on social issues are different, and for some nonsensical reason, that became an underlying current in our relationship. When we did get together, our conversations were confined to the superficial, and the whole family-dynamic mix thrown in there didn’t do much to ease our relationship.
Either consciously or sub-consciously I have mimicked many of my sister’s moves through the years. She is an amazing woman, and as an older-sister role model, she has done some remarkable things that have made me want to follow in her footsteps. She also has had a more difficult time, particularly with our parents, who were extremely strict with her. They loosened up a lot by the time they got around to me, and I learned by watching some of her mistakes; I knew what issues I could push and what ones to let lie.
She is a traveler, and inspired by her, I also went to Costa Rica to learn Spanish. She studied journalism and worked as an editor. That wasn’t my original career choice, but now I am blissfully employed as an editor. She is a great athlete--runner, cyclist, and general outdoorsy-type. I followed suite. I think that we have many similarities in our personalities, too. We both snort when we laugh. We find the same humor goofy. (Maybe that comes from our dad.) We both have the same opinions on our family. We believe in working for social causes. This blog, in fact, was inspired by her blogging. We both express ourselves through words. We don’t look anything alike, and I have always been envious of her beauty. She has that completely low-maintenance type beauty that I covet.
This summer, in a two-week lull between European trips, I decided to go up to Eugene and spend a few weeks with her. Partly, I was motivated by wanting to be anywhere but Sonora, but mostly, I just wanted to get to know her again, away from the family, in her element. It was a fantastic two weeks. I spent a lot of time with my nephews and brother-in-law too, and got to know them on a different level, which was great, but my sister and I made our peace, without even trying. Just spending that time together, chatting, laughing, comparing family observations, and just being us, was refreshing and completed something that has been missing for me: a sister bond. I didn’t realize how important that relationship was until I rediscovered it.
I had a brief taste of our unique position two years ago when our dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. She was the only one who I could really relate to during that time. We talked on the phone and cried together, and maybe that whole experience was the beginning of the bond that was solidified this summer.
After my two weeks with her, we turned an unspoken corner in our relationship. We began talking regularly on the phone, giggling together, encouraging each other, and finally conversing past the superficial part. She was my strongest ally when I was trying to move to NC; she encouraged me, called me regularly, and when I got discouraged with my job search and the complexity of moving across the country, she was my backer.
I can’t quite articulate the value that our newfound relationship has had in my life. I feel like I finally have a sister, the kind of relationship that I have always hoped for. Someone to call when I am excited, discouraged, or just want to flap my mouth. She, of all people, understands me uniquely because we were raised by the same people, in the same town. We have traits that undeniably make us sisters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being a sister is as fun as having one. It is the best relationship/ friendship...you made me miss my mine so now I am going to call her tonight! :)
Katie