One of the most important relationships I have is with my family, specifically with my sisters. When I am in a fight or disagreements with them, I can’t seem to function properly. They aren’t my everything but they are my best friends, not by (their) choice. Not only are they the people who know 90% of me and my mood swings. They have seen me through the various life stages and I have gone through their biggest milestones with them.
Having sisters who are older than you also meant that I live in their shadows. My sisters are not super crazy high achieving but they did well in school in terms of academically and non-academically. They are both extroverts so they are highly social people while I am not as social. I went to the same schools as my second sister, Kak Ina, so I was mostly known to people as Sharina’s sister. It was good to have a base of people who look out for you but at the same time, I had to sort of live in my sisters’ shadow. So a lot of times I feel pressure to being the youngest sister because as the youngest, you either outshine them or you are the worst of the lot. I am the latter.
My eldest sister went to good schools and she was in the arts. She is good looking so my aunts or relatives complimented her quite a bit while I question why I can never lose weight. Though she never ever criticizes me for the way I look, everyone reminded me how ugly I was. Despite our mothers’ disapproval of her performing, my sister was a good actress from the plays and performances I watched her in. She always seems confident and knew what she was doing. Clearly, the complete opposite of me. I am very proud of her accomplishments despite not saying it to her face. She might not be a doctor or a career lion. She is a responsible and mindful adult who prefers things to be done properly and always seeking improvement as a human and servant of God. She is my listening ear and I am hers too. Whenever I need perspective in my life, I would talk her ear off. She is the only one who can stand my sass enough to hear my logic. She educates me a lot from books to life. Hanna is very lucky to have her as a mother. And I am lucky to have her as my eldest sister to lead me when needed.
My second sister is equally knowledgeable and the most extroverted person out of the 3 of us. She is a person who is unafraid to approach strangers or take charge of situations. She is a true natural born leader who demonstrated her many leadership positions while in school. She is the one person I fought most while growing up because of her tendencies to annoy people. (Trust me, even Kak Lin was like leave that kid alone.) But she is also the person that I share most of my interests with from music to sports. I couldn’t have climbed Mount Hallasan without her. Our pop culture knowledge together can land us on game shows. Also, she really looks out for me. She bought me my first laptop (which is what I am typing on) before I entered university. She helps me buy university textbooks so it doesn’t burden my mother too much. She is one of those frugal people that I hate because I am a spender but her financial management and efficiency are what make her very responsible. She has always been independent in her own way. So I always do what I can to pay her back with taking care of her after she gave birth or babysitting Sofy if need be. Sofy is a carbon copy of her mom from the too much talking to showing off her skills.
Of course, our sisterhood is not all rainbows and sunshine. Like any sibling relationship, all hell breaks loose when we argue. Cold wars can last from weeks to months. But somehow we would always make up. We have gone through so much over the years to not want to have each other to rely on. Sometimes certain situations unique to a family can bring us closer. Like any other relationship in your life, you have to work hard at it because your effort and love is what strengthens it.
We weren’t that close growing up especially because I am always their baby sister who is too baby to understand. However, they honestly make me more grown-up as compared to peers of my age because I had to go through certain things at a young age since my sisters were much older. They make me more matured and aware of the world around me. So I credit them for making me a better human.
My sisters are my second mothers. Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah, for not giving me brothers because I would have died with my sensitivity. (I am not saying brothers are bad but sisters work well for me.) I have to say I really miss them now when they live with their own respective families. But I am so proud of the people they have become. And I know they will raise great children and families. Family trips are never the same without the both of you.
PS: Thanks for allowing me to be there for your engagements, weddings, pregnancies, house moves, and motherhood. Now I know I am not equipped to be a mother. hahahahah By the way, our photos can be so nonsense when we are on holiday.