Growing up, I was the adored middle child *hair flip*. My two sisters would tell you otherwise, but that’s not the point. My point is we have never been those adorable happy siblings wearing matching outfits that love each other unconditionally 24/7. So if you’re looking for something along those lines, you’d better turn back now. Instead, my dare I say scarring childhood shaped me into the slightly dark and mostly fiery person I am today. Growing up with siblings (specifically 2 sisters) taught me life skills in a, putting it nicely, unconventional way.
From the dawn of (my) time, I have been in constant competition. First for attention from my parents, which wasn’t hard since I was the cute new baby and my older sister was just a chubby red-headed toddler. Once my younger sister was born, I had to work a little harder. I had to be the best at school, sports, anything. If people even thought about calling me by my sister’s name, well, they knew better. Living with competitors formed me into an ~only slightly~ overly competitive person, but also made me push myself harder to reach those goals.
As a kid, it’s often tough to embrace your weird quirks and things that make you, well you. Growing up with siblings close in age especially, I embraced any individuality I had to bring to the table. I didn’t go looking to be different than my siblings, but naturally we’re not the same, which is totally okay. This stopped me from competing with my siblings for alpha child, because if we’re all so different…what’s there to compare? It’s apples and oranges, really. I think this goes to show in life, that you’ll never be able to ‘one up’ someone on every aspect of their life because you aren’t them, they’ll always have something you won’t have. Vice versa, someone can be smarter, prettier, and fitter than you, but they won’t be you.
It’s pretty obvious to anyone with siblings, you come out with tough skin. I’m talking top of the line, alligator leather tough. Most people don’t think of how this has affected them once they’ve moved on and matured in life, but I tend to notice people that grew up with siblings have higher confidence. It’s because we’ve heard every insult in the book, therefore nothing gets under our skin anymore. I look back and realize my siblings and I were/sometimes are extremely petty. Realizing someone else’s opinion does not define you is key. Once you realize how wrong they are about one thing, you don’t let any of the insults get under your skin, because, what do they know? In life, you have to use this perspective as well. If you let someone other than you define how you’re going to approach life, it will only go downhill.
Siblings may have sucked growing up, but in the end, their stupidity and pettiness actually taught me real life lessons. They gave me the confidence to back myself and my decisions up, they helped me embrace my original characteristics as a person, and they even pushed me to be competitive with not only others in life, but myself as well. Thanks, guys!
P.S. I’m still the favorite child.