Sibling Rivalry

Trip Start Nov 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 01, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is the most time I have spent in the constant company of my sister in over 10 years. Growing up together, we were always bickering as kids, fighting over the usual stuff kids fight about.  It wasn't until we were in our early teens that we figured out it was far better to like each other and get along as friends than trying to constantly be at each other’s throats.  Still, our stubborn, strong willed, dominant personalities clashed time and time again as we each grew into ourselves over the years.  Eventually, I left for college, and the distance between us allowed a kind of mutual respect and space to admire and support each other from afar, forgetting what it was like to deal with each other on a regular basis.  Now, after a hectic and hurried holiday, three long days on the road, and the stress of moving her entire life out of her previous home, the cracks are starting to show.  Small eruptions of temper and intolerance spark between us.  Rebecca hasn’t seen me for this long since she was only 16 years old.  Still treating me like that little child who fights over pointless things and doesn’t consider other’s feelings.  It’s been a trial of patience helping her this past week.  Most of the time we’re fine, but every once in a while I see flashes of her character that detest me.  Arrogance, impatience, selfishness, and manipulation.  Negative traits that I’ve recognized in myself over the years and worked hard to improve or eliminate completely.  I guess that’s another reason it bothers me so much when she acts that way.  Seeing those flaws and defects so clearly in someone I love and admire because they so closely mirrored my own personal difficulties.  I know the road she’s on because I’ve been there with my own two feet.  I see the pitfalls it brings and the potential hazards she may face in her own life because of her ego, and I just want to try to help set her free.  We’ve got a long time on the road together, and eventually living under the same roof again in San Francisco.  I didn’t quite know what to expect when embarking on this journey, but as each day goes by, and more and more time and energy is spent thinking about my relationship with my sister and what it means, I realize the key - family.  Learn to be good siblings again, love and respect who we’ve become as people, don’t let our history of what we were like growing up cloud our current perceptions and interactions with each other, and above all help one another grow to be the people we were meant to be.  I admire so much about who my sister is as not just family, but as a human being - smart, capable, confident and outgoing.  I realized it’s my job as an older brother to help her not only by humbly suffering old slings and arrows in the name of a past that was much more rocky, but also to open her eyes to who she really is at her core and help her develop a deeper sense of compassion, thoughtfulness and empathy.  With one more day on the road and a big question mark about what it will be like living in the same home, I look over at my sister with a smile as she drives into the unknown - focused, calm, and determined.  Something tells me these next few weeks will bring us both some much needed peace and reflection, and a new sense of what it’s all about to be siblings.
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