They say that every middle child has a complex. That we feel like we are the most forgotten or how we feel as though no one really pays attention to us. Well, let me tell you one thing as a middle child myself being forgotten about is not a feeling that I avoid often. Growing up I was torn between two worlds. Trying to act like an adult with my older sister or being a rambunctious preteen with my younger brother.
When I was with my brother, I was always told that I was too loud, too crazy, just too much. Yet being around my sister I was looked down upon as the younger of the two and stuck always being not enough. Not mature enough, not working hard enough and not living up to her expectations. All my life I have felt like I was living in a shadow. My presence was always commented on of how I would be the class star because my older sister was amazing at chemistry, or how I must be so proud of myself because my grades were nowhere near the downward level of my brothers (sorry bub).
But through the shadow, I entered college. No one knew who I was and instead of fearing the unfamiliar I relished in the freshness of creating myself over again. Now I didn't go crazy and change my whole personality but day by day I crept out of my shell more and more. I made friends who knew me only as the girl in the Anthro class or the blonde down the hall. I wasn't anyone's sister and past reputations didn't matter to my new friends.
Academically I began to prosper. Taking classes where the professors not only took me seriously, but where they could care less if I had a stellar, or less than, sibling. They took my work and judged me from my edits to my attendance. My eyes were finally opened to the possibilities of being myself and not overshadowed by a previously taught sibling.
At home, my world began to change as well. At the dinner table on Sundays, it wasn't always the same question being asked around it was all three siblings talking about the interesting components that had made up our days. I would rant about the new book I was figuratively dissecting while my sister would talk about how she was literally dissecting organisms. My brother got to cheerfully narrate about his lacrosse practices and not one of our conversations would overlap the others in the context of what we were saying.
I began to become my own person and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was seen, and that I shone brightly in my new environment. Being stuck in the middle and forgotten about as a middle child may have its perks. But becoming an adult and finding confidence in yourself will make the shadow scurry away, illuminated by the brightness of within.