Growing up with siblings is one of the most powerful ways our personalities and the way we interact with people is shaped.
Every family is different, and with sisters, it can get even more tumultuous.
Rookie writer Mariam Ansar pens a beautiful ode to her sisters and how their personal growths made them like waves: clashing and crashing, but nevertheless, always around each other and growing together.
“In the pictures of us from another age, we hold onto each other. I’m usually in the middle. There is a hand on my shoulder, or around my waist, and the details of my 8-year-old dungarees are obscured by the fact that I can’t be a body on my own. I’m holding my younger sister. I am being held by my older sister. We look into the camera and all of our limbs are our own, and the camera flashes, and we move together. In another age, we used to do that all the time. Over late-night conversations, five-second arguments, film marathons, stories of first-ever crushes, and borrowing each other’s clothes. With just a few years between us, my sisters and I made up worlds together. “You’re the storyteller, Mariam,” They’d say to me, giving me all the details of their own lives to turn into something good; into more childhood projects we now look back on and laugh at. I’d grin and hide my notebooks, silently appreciating the way we’d stretch our imaginations to turn our feelings into fiction. But there is more than one way to tell a story; or become different ones. And it doesn’t always involve choice.”
But as it is with growing up and learning to speak your individuality, the things that once let us get along as children can become the things that let us drift apart as we get older.
“We stopped being children when our voices stopped saying the same thing, and there it was: our new worlds, whirring and spinning and bursting together,” she writes.
Yet there always comes the realization that despite the differences our adult selves have come to develop, in one way or another, there will always be a certain bond that remains among family members, especially sisters, if one can be so lucky.
“Three sister planets, separate but always bound by similarity. This was the reality of us, growing up: how we’d always be sisters. It’s now that I know it was the most brilliant stroke of luck which allowed us to be best friends, too.”
Mariam ends her lovely ode to her sisters with only love; as she learns to accept that their clashing personalities serve only to add dimension to their relationships, despite a secret desire for nostalgia to return to the way things were in childhood.
“Though our planets keep spinning in orbits that dance differently now, the songs stay the same. Even though we know we aren’t anymore. I hear our voices, past and present, join in at the choruses. And though I have been told, with tears rolling down my face, that it’s OK for things to change for us, I can’t help but hope that we’ll always remember the way we once were.”
Read her complete piece here.