Being a little sister means lots of things, and those things range from a nearly endless supply of hand me downs all the way to feeling like you’re constantly falling behind in a race. It means that every time something confused me, or took me aback, or left me uncertain regarding what I should be doing, I could think back two years and remember what my sister went through and what she did. Sometimes it was more of a cautionary tale, but more often than not it was a good frame work.
I think it has a lot to do with how we were raised, but also the fact that we’re incredibly similar, but it’s like having a previously saved version of yourself out there in the universe, living a life that could have been yours if you had been born a few years earlier, and it’s the most reassuring feeling. I didn’t realize that’s how I’ve spent my life, comforted in the knowledge that there is another version of me, that I am another version of someone else, until my sister and I went out for a movie last night.
We were talking about our lives, about our problems and exciting things, and I mentioned a problem I was having. She nodded, listening to me, and started to agree when she suddenly stopped.
“I was about to sympathize and relate, but I just realized I have no idea what that would be like–I’ve never experienced anything like that at all”
It wasn’t the weirdest moment, and we moved past it in under two seconds, but somehow that sentence stuck with me.
We’ve spent a lot of our lives being mistaken for twins, being indistinguishable from each other on the phone, having identical laughs that synchronize when we’re together. She’s one of the two people I’ve spent my whole life knowing I can rely on for anything, no matter how much we might not be able to stand each other in the moment, and it’s just the most amazing thing in the world.
And the thing is, I didn’t even realize it. It never occurred to me that I just viewed the two of us as two versions of the same person until one conversation over mexican food when I realized we weren’t anymore. I look at my sister and I don’t see myself in two years–I just see another person, with different choices and different goals and a different life.
Honestly? It made me feel really lonely, which is probably just the silliest, since um I see her all the time and nothing has actually changed. Nothing changed at all, except a little perspective, I guess.