First Sunday of August is Sister’s Day. I have written a lot about my baby sister over the years and they have all been about our childhood and the love we shared. But this post is about a rough space our relationship traversed through during Covid-19.
The happiest day in my life was the day my baby sister was born. We are 9 years apart and growing up, I was almost a second mother to her; one she could also play with. Our bond has been so strong! But it doesn’t mean that the path was smooth.
As we grew, there came a point where she outgrew me in all aspects. I was now looking up at her, she wasn’t the tiny pup I could hug tight and protect, and she couldn’t ask Math doubts to me anymore because our streams were different. It was time for her to pave her own path, away from us and she did a wonderful job at it. But the one who returned to us was much different from my baby sister.
It took a while for us to wrap our heads around the changes my sister had gone through. While the Coronavirus Pandemic stretched on and on, we went through a roller-coaster ride of quarrels, emotions, conversation and growth and here are five things that I learnt from my Little Sister:
- People change. So Will The Little Munchkins in Your Family and You Should be Prepared for it
Change is always greeted with resistance at first. Our response to someone’s change always is ‘Hey! Why aren’t you that anymore?’ instead of asking to ourselves if the change is a positive one and why their change is bothering us.
My sister was constantly trying to learn and grow. She was bringing on changes in diet, her character, the way she handled emotions, her work life etc. Basically she was experimenting on every aspect about her, but we kept searching for our little girl who had gotten lost in the transformations. At times, her pressure on herself and our questioning made her snap and some days weren’t the brightest in our house. But it made me understand that every individual has to choose his/her path and that we have to let them figure things out. It doesn’t mean that I have completely accepted this, but I am on my path to understanding it.
- If You are Behaving the Way You Did Ten Years Ago, Chances Are That You Haven’t Grown.
Some of us have the habit of not communicating when we are angry. Our faces swell, we take faster heavier breaths with flared nostrils, and we keep to ourselves. When the subject of our wrath enters the room, we shoot a pointed glance in their direction. This is where they should know that we are angry and ask us or guess why we are angry. This isn’t something we do on purpose. It is now that I am realizing that I do it.In reality, I’m trying to cool off a bit before talking. Because angry me is a mess!
My sister started taking the initiative to come talk to me when she realized that I was upset about something. It didn’t always go well, but it always ended well. Whether she was wrong or I was wrong, we told each other what our problems where, yelled at each other, split up, introspected and tried to better ourselves. She made me realize that this is a family trait and it is high time I change it.
3. Every Platform is a Source to Learn From if You know Where to Look
Learning doesn’t have to be from an academic viewpoint or by means of reading alone. You can learn even from entertainment apps such as Tiktok. When I was trying to bake a cake, my sister who has never baked one in her life gave me tips and told me why we used some of the ingredients. She learnt it from TikTok videos. If we really want to learn new things, even entertainment mediums such as Tiktok and Instagram have some brilliant resources. We end up consuming information that is given to us rather than going in search of quality content.
She consumes a lot of information in the form of videos and articles because of which she knows so many things. Whether they are important or not, she can hold any kind of conversation because of all these resources. I find that impressive though that isn’t something I want. My point being, you need to actively look for learning material if you want to learn.
4. Speak Your Mind
Over the last few months, I have seen my sister speak her mind more than the rest of us put together did. Speaking your mind need not necessarily mean you get your way. It means you put it out there for discussion and a decision could be made together.
But more often than not, when one person speaks his mind, the other agrees with him to avoid conflicts or because he’s hesitant to speak his mind due to fear of rejection. Years of conflicts induce the habit of suppressing our thoughts so much so that when the other person voices an opinion, we think it is a command and that we do not have a say in it.
This also opened my eyes to the fact that this habit reflected in my workplace too. When someone said something that I did not like, I silently endured it while my insides boiled. But recently, I have been voicing my thoughts when I disapproved of something and the freedom that standing up for yourself brings is liberating.
But it is important to know the thin line between speaking your mind and being rude. Also, it is important to know your audience before you do it.
5. You have a lot to learn from people Younger Than You
‘You need to respect your elders. You should never retort to your elders or question their decisions because they know what is best for you.’, we Indians are brought up on this Mantra. But one fine day, when someone younger than you tells you that you have been wrong all along, that your method is outdated, you feel offended. You think they are defying and disrespecting you. There’s the ego that grew with you; you respected your elders without question and when it was your turn to be respected, you were denied it. This mindset can be changed with conscious effort.
I was caught up in this mesh too. But now I know that there are things I could learn from my sister and there is nothing wrong with that. If anything, it helps me grow and growth is what life is all about.
It is all about understanding that learning could come from anywhere. We need to find a balance in everything. When elders realize that sometimes it is important to listen to the younger ones, the latter shouldn’t let it get to their heads (just an indirect message to my sister) 😝. In any case, I’m happy to learn from the little one in the house and to know that no matter how much we quarrel, not a day will go by without me hugging her and planting a kiss on her cheek.
Will you try to incorporate any of these lessons in your life? What are some things you learnt from your siblings? Did you have resistance when your sibling changed over the years? Do let me know through the comments.
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