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."