I was talking to my younger sister last night about her classes for her art degree. She's a sophomore and she's pretty incredible. I'm amazed by her ability. She has so much passion for art, interest in what her teachers talk about, the different artists and their philosophies. We were able to talk about the historical artists and their philosophies, it was really cool to talk about how the music and art world kind of mirrored each other. She's so smart and doesn't even know it.
As she and my mom left I was just thinking about how thankful I was that her degree is similar to my degree but not the same.
For a long time I struggled with her looking up to me as the older sister. We shared a room when we were younger and I saw flat-out mean to her. My behavior towards her was terrible. I think there were several factors: our age difference of six years, me being a teenager and insecure and stupid, and her just thinking I was cool and wanting to be my friend. So I did my best to destroy our relationship.
I had to go back and apologize for these years. I hate it that I still feel pangs of guilt over my behavior. I know that she has forgiven me, but I may never forget my behavior. I know most people would tell me that "You have to forgive yourself Jody." Yeah, yeah, I know, but that feels really hokey and selfish. It still happened and I need to still hold her in respect for forgiving me.
I am thankful that our relationship is healed. It's the grace of God in our lives. She was my maid of honor in my wedding, and it's not just because she is my sister. It's because I love her and I value her above any other friend.
It's interesting because our lives are similar. We have struggled with similar things, the same mom :), we have these artist hearts, we both have gifts (different gifts) in art. So when she tells me her struggles I can relate. But i don't want to ever be like, "Oh yeah, been there, done that." Because our lives are NOT the same. ... I don't know, it's like I don't want her to live in my shadow (she doesn't want to live in my shadow either, thank goodness) ... I want to avoid that at all costs.
I have two brothers who couldn't be more different than me, so I think she is probably the one I have the most in common with. I often wonder if she had been closer in age if we would have gotten along better, but I can trust that God knew what He was doing.
Okay, so that is my struggle I've been thinking about lately. Do you have an older sister you feel like you are living in her shadow? Are you the older sister who has felt like her younger sister is someone to be tossed aside? Maybe you have both.
I think the sister relationship is a special, difficult one, full of parents, siblings, lasting forever where we get to see the ugliest, most real parts of each others lives. But possibly one of the most beautiful relationship I have.