Ok, so this post is going to be a little bit different – it’s just a bit of an emotional rant and it’s completely unplanned so I don’t know where it’s going to take me. I’m not even sure yet if I’ll post it or not, but we’ll just see how it goes. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time, but never really knew how to explain it until now. Basically, I have an amazing older sister who I love more than anything, and everyone else loves her too. She’s the kind of person who everyone wants to know, and everyone gets along with. She is charismatic, beautiful, spontaneous and extroverted, where I am shy, distant, and basically just all-round introverted. Socialising is draining no matter how much I enjoy the person’s company. People ask me on a regular basis if I’m jealous of her, to which I always truthfully reply, “no.” They even then go as far as asking me why I’m not jealous of her, as if I should be and it’s weird that I’m not. Every time this happens (and believe me, it happens more often than you would think) of course it’s a bit of a blow to my self confidence, but more than that it reinforces the fact that people value certain characteristics over others and think it’s strange when people are just happy with how they are. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like there’s something a little wrong with that. In school we’re always taught to be ourselves – but we are also taught that we have to be good at team work, be confident, and always willingly put forward our ideas when we haven’t had time to think them through or research them in-depth. This seems to cater for one end of the spectrum more than the other. From a young age we are taught that extroverted qualities are desirable; that you can learn to not be introverted.
When I realised (getting a little personal here) that out of the two relationships I’d had, both guys’d had a thing for my sister before they wanted me, I really felt like I was always just second best. Teachers who had taught me for two years and had never taught my sister accidentally called me by her name. I was known around school as “the sister.” People expected me to be good at the things she was good at. In one of my relationships I knew the guy wanted me to be crazy, sporty and outspoken and it killed me that I couldn’t be that. No matter how much I cared for him or how hard I tried, when it came to trying to be something I wasn’t my brain just caved in on me and I ended up as a nervous wreck. I realise now that I’m naturally more shy around some people than I am around others, but it has nothing to do with the fear of what they might think; it’s simply compatibility. I like talking to people about deep topics – life, love, the future, goals, happiness, the meaning behind everything, you get the picture. If I’m with someone that just makes a lot of jokes and only likes light topics and small talk, I’m way out of my depth. No matter how much I used to want to change that, there was no way I could.
It’s taken a whole lot of soul searching and absolutely amazing friends and family (I love you all so much) to be in a position where I am happy with just being me, but that’s just like any teenager I guess. I understand now that there are some people who I just can’t completely open myself up to, and there are others that bring me out of my shell, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that. I don’t listen to or care about comparisons anymore, because I’ve realised that if I don’t have biased opinions on which traits are “good” or “bad”, then they are just observations. Yes, my sister is extroverted and charismatic. Yes, I am introverted and can be awkward at times. Yes, she is resourceful and can think on her toes, and yes, my head is constantly in the clouds. Cool. If you don’t take offence from people comparing you to others, the comparisons don’t seem like offences at all. So no, I’m not jealous. And the reason I’m not jealous is because this world would be a horribly boring place if everyone was the same. I’m not jealous because I can honestly look at myself and see a happy, nice person. I love and admire my sister more than I love and admire anyone else in the world; but just because I admire her does not mean I want to be her.
Lots of love,