Instant coolness. I joined in with everyone on the track bus laughing at my brother. I had the power - through a lie and a joke I was in, he was out. It is stories like this that defined my relationship with my brother. I tended to hang with the less cool, smart kids - while my brother became captain of the football, track and wrestling teams. I tried not to not let our lives overlap too much - but when they did I found myself to be petty, vindictive and downright nasty. I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.
Thankfully my brother and I are now much better friends, in large part to a significant realization on my part. I am jealous of other people, and my coping mechanism for this is sabotage. I want to be the most liked, the favorite and if I'm not - I'll do almost anything to change the stakes. I have a hard time lifting people up in their own accomplishments without throwing a "me too" in there for good measure. I don't mind if people are getting praise - I just want it too, at the expense of whoever is around. It makes me sick to think about how many times my brother was on the receiving end of this fault - it's no wonder we didn't talk a majority of our college years...I would be glad to be rid of that kind of toxicity too.
Thankfully, a good dose of humility and time heals most things. My brother is now one of my favorite people - and I have on good authority I am one of his. I have found joy in his accomplishments and feel no need to stick a 'me too' anywhere in our conversations - just praise, love and some sisterly prodding for good measure.
I am a sister. I am learning to love without jealousy. I am looking forward to my brother's visit this fall.
Picture: The picture that sums it all up - him, a little higher and better; me, making it look good.