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She stands 5 feet 2 inches tall. weighs 95 pounds, and has short, blonde hair and blue eyes. I see my older sister Amanda. Others see a model of perfection, Don‘t get me wrong, my sister and l are close and have been since birth. My mother has kept pictures of us ranging from the time we went Trick, or, Treating with each other to Amanda‘s graduation. For seventeen years, we‘ve shared every life experience imaginable, and we’ve dealt with the trials and tribulations that come with growing up.
But in September, she left home to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, leaving me to face life alone. However, it gave me the opportunity to live life by myself as Ryan, instead of Amanda‘s little brother. Since the beginning, I got stuck with a teacher that she had had. Being four years younger than my sibling made the memory of Amanda, being the bright student that she is.
easier for my teachers to recall.
Every September for twelve years I was greeted by all of my teachers with the same “Oh you’re Amanda’s little brother.” This was really no big deal. The following year, my fifth grade teacher said to me, “Oh you‘re Amanda’s little brother?” This upset me a little. At first this association with my scholarly sister did not bother me too much. If anything I found it beneficial because I believed that it would help me build relationships With my teachers.
But with each passing year, the little comments and remarks literally ate away at my identity. Comments like “You did good, but Amanda got a better grade” can easily destroy a child‘s self-esteem. As I became older, I started believing that I was not growing up as myself, but rather as the product of someone else. It almost made me happy to see older teachers leave and others take their place. Unfortunately, school made up only half of the problem. The other half occurred in the one place where it really should not but often did: at home.
What really personally offended me were the comparisons made by my parents after every straight A report card, MVP trophy, or picture in the newspaper, Seeing this. I tried my hardest to do well and earn the praise of my parents, but what frustrated me the most was that no matter how hard I tried, I always ended Lip on the short end of the stick. It took a lot of time and many tears finally to realize that I had wasted my time on such a trivial thought. Two years ago as Amanda filled out college applications, everything suddenly clicked. I realized that everything that happened to me was irrelevant and that, if anything, it can make me stronger rather than hinder my chances for success. Her departure for college gave me the opportunity to live up to my own standards instead of hers. I was fifteen years old l had just started my life. I could easily say that I WIII always resent my sister for everything she has put me through, but I won‘t. In a way, she toughened me up both intellectually and emotionally, What started out as a burden in my life ended up defining it.
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