Anyone who knows me, especially those who I knew growing up, know my sister and I have a rocky past.
My mom says Amanda was pissed when they brought me home from the hospital, and it only went downhill from there. We were as different as can be, and a kid I both worshiped her and thought she was an alien. I was so impressed by her older friends, makeup skills and designer clothes. She was always smarter and faster, and never had to try at it. She was naturally graceful and accomplished.
She was the lean to my chunky, the brunette to my blonde and, as the older sister, she was always, always right. So, we fought like crazy, and it tortured my parents. To this day, she’s the only person I have ever hit. I spent many nights sobbing in my room because of how much I thought I hated my sister. I would ask my parents, how they had created the two of us, these two very different creatures. For seven consecutive summers, we attended the same camp and no one would believe we were related. We were like oil and water.
She is the person in this world who has received my ugliest, most hurtful words. She is still the person who can make me the angriest. And, in all honestly, the one of whom I am the most critical and the most judgemental.
I used to think it was so hard because we are so different. In truth, it’s because she is a reflection of myself. We share the same parents, the same memories, the same places. It has taken me almost all of my short 27 years to figure out, even though we turned out so differently, we are most definitely sisters.
Now that we have outgrown our camp years, strangers can tell we are related. And so can I. I’m slowing admitting we are more similar than I once knew. Even though it makes me cringe when she wastes plastic bottles and road rages at the Main Line moms, I too can be flippant and quick to anger. While she’s intense, I can be too blasé. Our weaknesses are also our strong points. She’s intensely loyal, I’m quick to forgive.
Acknowledging these differences and learning to value my sister and our shared sisterhood is new. I hate to say that, but it’s true. I am not proud there have only been a few years of good, sisterly behavior from us. But, I have come to really value the parts of us that are so different. She lectures me on investments, I lecture her on meditation. She tells me I’m a bad driver, I tell her she is a hoarder.
And I love it. There is no one else I can go to and ask the insane questions that she will answer for me. We can share the strangest moments and shared memories, and she is the only one who will get it.
Because we’re sisters. And she is the only one I’ll ever have.