Solitude is a word I have become too familiar with in the past few months. I eat by myself. Go to the movies by myself. Shop by myself. Travel by myself. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. After being severely attached to certain individuals for years, I’ve embraced learning to be alone again. Throughout it all, though, I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family again.

My family of six has always been close. I consider my three sisters to be my closest friends, something I wouldn’t have imagined saying while growing up. As children, we would walk together through the streets of Corona, Queens, with our mother. People would stare and make rude comments like, “There’s so many of them.” Yes, four children can be considered “a lot” but it’s not an absurd concept either. It’s no different now when we walk with our parents, except we stare back at the people who judge.

The unity I feel with my sisters is one I don’t feel with others. I cherish the moments when we’re all free and spontaneously decide to go out for a late movie together. Most of the time, all four of us are in different places doing various things. But there is always one of us available to each other if we need anything. In this way, I’m never really alone.

Despite putting our group conversation on mute, I’ll still find dozens of unread text messages that make me laugh every time. In my internship, writing about news and politics for the Latinx community can be emotionally draining, but my sisters have been there more times than I can count to pick me up with a joke or funny picture.

I thank my parents for having us only a few years apart. I am only a year and two weeks younger than my older sister, and I’m two years older than my next sister. But our last sister had the misfortune of being born four to seven years apart from the three of us. Regardless, my sisters and I can relate to each other immensely.

We go through important moments together. Our personal lives couldn’t be more different but we still find ourselves in similar situations. We talk to each other about our problems and give one another support. When it comes to our youngest sister, all three of us combined have ample advice to give to her. I tell her things I wish I would’ve known when I was 16.

An aspect that isn’t spoken about often when having siblings is sharing. Growing up with several siblings gave me a sharing reflex. I have absolutely no problem sharing anything with anybody because it’s automatically assumed I will after years of doing it with my family.

I’ll forever be grateful to have my sisters. Without them, I wouldn’t have learned to be compassionate, patient and loving. We have amazing memories together that we created living everyday by each other’s sides. Of course, there’s also been terrible ones– constantly moving as children and even living through an apartment fire together. But we’ve persevered.

All of us have killer self-confidence and love for each other which inspires me, even when things are a bit lonesome.