To The Siblings Who Grew From Worst Enemies To Best Motivators

To The Siblings Who Grew From Worst Enemies To Best Motivators

I didn't know the same people who used to do everything they could to annoy me would turn out to be some of the people I constantly miss.

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It's the summer going into fifth grade. I'm the youngest in my family and at somewhat of a turning point in my younger years. I'm starting to have crushes and drama with friends. My sister is four years older than me and way too cool for me. She's in high school now and doesn't let me forget it. My brother is the popular skater boy in middle school, but his favorite activity is to get me as riled up as possible. We're all in the car together, and it's an absolute nightmare. My brother thinks it's funny to keep his fingers an inch away from my face and say "I'm not poking you" while my sister is complaining to my mom about how immature her little siblings are.

Growing up, I sometimes thought I hated them. Not actually hate, but I didn't know anyone that could get on my nerves the way they could. At the time I didn't know this was normal and I honestly never thought I would miss it. However, fast forward about 10 years, and I would take them annoying me over all of us being in different places any day. My 10-year-old self had no idea the potential impact they would have on me or how much I would come to miss my childhood with them.

When you're young, teachers love to ask "What do you want to be when you grow up?" which seems like an easy question for an 8-year-old, and it is. Yet no one prepared me for how much tougher that question would become as I grew up... thankfully, I had my siblings for help. I can thank both of them for helping me get to where I am and map out where I want to be.

My brother was the reason I joined a club in high school that lit a passion in me to pursue an education in marketing (or things related).

My sister went out of state and always pushed me to take a risk and do the same.

Here I am, five hours away from home. You definitely couldn't tell me at 10 that most of the important decisions in my life would go through my siblings first for help, or that I would look for their approval in all of my accomplishments.

I am lucky enough to have two extremely bright and driven siblings, but regardless, I think all siblings will come to teach you things about yourself. They've been able to help me through times when I felt like I didn't have anyone, and they've been supportive even when I made the opposite decision of the ones they encouraged. We all live in different states now and don't get to spend much time together, but I cherish the times that we do. When I was little, I wasn't aware of all the things I'd miss. If I had made a list at the time, it would probably say something like "Mom making my lunch every day," not "My built-in best friends and support system."

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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An Open Letter To Older Brothers, With All The Things Your Younger Brothers Won't Admit

This is what everyone with older brothers won't admit, so I'll do it for us all.

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Older Brothers:

As we get older, we definitely begin to grasp at the importance of our relationship with each other. More specifically, the path of substantial growth that develops and unfolds as we get older bewilders us, yet we find ourselves elated with the direction that it is taking. Although we used to unconditionally hate each other, times change substantially the older we become.

We all truthfully appreciate the weight of the growth more than you do, and we'll explain why further in this letter alongside the stages of our relationship.

Ironically, it is very hysterical to think as far back as we can remember to when we were little kids. We definitely caused our parents to be overwhelmed with extraordinary stress, but it did not matter to us. The first stage of our relationship was as innocent and peaceful as could be, at least before the storm arrives later on. We truly appreciate engaging in nothing but fun with you. You were our first tour guide in the world, and your hobbies became ours. We could often be found disappearing into endeavors, on a life or death mission as we saw it.

Simply put, we were in it together, whatever it was.

Even with small and insignificant bickering every once in a while, it never amounted to anything terrible. All we cared about was exploding with our energy and breaking the ornery meter with you. Thank you for embracing this first stage of enjoyment with us. It seemed to pass by incredibly fast, especially with stage two of our relationship on the horizon.

Stage two was a huge love-hate time. It was also by far the most growthful and helpful time for us, even though it certainly did not seem that way. As we entered into our pre-teens and then into middle school, all we cared about was undermining you. For some reason that we really do not know how to explain, we attempted to find an edge.

Stage two of our relationship was filled with fighting that usually ended in us losing. This specifically helped us to learn how to deal with crap. You also had all your high school friends more or less beat us up. You also always expected us to be at our best. As you progressed through high school, we were beginning to learn it all. This is where the love of love-hate came into play. Although we also never explicitly understood or acknowledged it, you inspired us. Being older, you had already experienced a lot and helped us through the worst.

Stage two was definitely a rollercoaster of love-hate (more hate in our minds), but we later learned you were dope.

In the final stage of growth in our relationship, we learned that we had and have a built-in forever best friend relationship. In our late high school years, college, and beyond, we finally realized the impact you had on us. You are honestly probably happier than us that we finally grew up, but we never admit we were and are the perfect duo, two peas in a pod. We grew up together and experienced a lot. So here's to us, even though we will always be better than you.

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