Facing my sibling envy

26 September 2016

Two weeks ago (ish) one of my younger sisters sent us the message that she and her husband were expecting their first child. I completely hate admitting it, but my first reaction wasn’t joy. My heart sank a little. I was jealous.

I’m one of 6 children. My brother and I are from my dad’s first marriage (and our mom’s only), and my four younger sisters are from his second. There’s 11 years between myself and my next youngest sister — the one who’s married and expecting. I’ve never been particularly close with any of my sisters, one of the issues of our age differences — but with this sister, we never really had a good relationship. It’s better now, but we’re not close. Only 2 years between me and my older brother, who has 3 children. It didn’t really bug me when my brother got married or had kids. My eldest niece is 11 — I was a college junior in China when she was born. It was one of those things that, you know, I was on the path to as well. I mean, I was 21 and getting ready to start my adult life, surely that would include settling down and having my own kids, right?

At 32… None of that has happened. I don’t have a career, per say. I don’t have kids. I don’t even have a relationship (and haven’t in years). And here is my little sister, married before she graduated college (in 3 years, no less), and now with a baby on the way. She has the life I thought I would have, the life I thought I wanted.

Do I want a family? Yeah. But is my life lacking because I’m childless and single? Far from it. When I actually stop and look at it. I have a pretty amazing life. I went from college to Chicago, made friends and traveled a lot — had so many adventures with Mucca. And now I’m on a totally new journey through grad school and looking at phD programs. There’s also the issue that I have endometriosis. I’m considering a pretty drastic route for my treatment, and there will be no getting pregnant in my future. That part of my life might not be awesome, but it’s just a fact of my life. But when I’m being honest with myself, I’ve never been excited about infants (or the idea of being responsible for one 24/7) — adoption was always an option.

Sibling envy is a really easy trap to fall into, and it’s quick to turn into sibling resentment. I hear it sometimes when I talk about school and such, and my brother is quick to point out all the things he has and salary he makes without having gone to college. It’s not that he wants me to feel bad, but he wants to reassure himself that his life also has value. In all these comparisons, it’s easy to feel like one person’s route is merely just an attempt to be better than the rest. I’m not going to grad school because I think I’m better or smarter than my siblings. I’m doing it because it’s right for my life and I love it. My little sister isn’t married or having kids before me out of any spite or notion or consideration to me, really, because it’s what’s right for her life.

I love my siblings, and I am very happy for all of them and their journeys. I hope they are for me as well. We may be blood, but we are 6 very different and individualized people. Our paths are bound to be unique. Things will happen at different times or not at all. We’ll end up in various places. So while I might still feel a bit of a pang for the life I once thought I’d have, I can’t let that blind me to the joy that my actual life has. Or from being happy for my sister during a momentous time of her life.

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Crushworthy: Things I’m loving #2

21 September 2016

Time for another round of Things I’m Loving! 1. Face masks. I tried a paper one a few weeks ago, and it felt like it was burning my face off. Thankfully I didn’t completely give up, and just switched brands! I’ve tried a couple mud masks since then and am loving them. I even just […]

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On being an indecisive eater

19 September 2016

I have never liked being called a picky eater. Picky eaters don’t like most foods. Picky eaters aren’t open to new things. Picky eaters are high maintenance. I love exploring foods. Ask me what my favorite foods are and I’ll likely say “all of them.” There’s not many foods I won’t eat — or at […]

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9 things I’ve learned about harassment

9 September 2016

First, an update on me: The anxiety caused by this whole ordeal is still really strong. I still do not feel safe around this individual, and that has extended from the classroom to the department to the campus to the greater city area. Now, I am getting that part under control a bit. I am […]

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Grad School is everything and nothing that I expected

2 September 2016

The first two weeks of grad school are finally complete. And thankfully now we’ve got a 3-day weekend. It’s much welcomed. Things they do not tell you, or at least do not stress enough so you actually believe it: this is the most exhausted you will ever be in your life until you raise kids […]

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4 things on the internet that I hate

28 August 2016

We all have internet pet peeves, things that make us cringe or even just rage quit the page. I’m not just talking trolls and 4chan. I like to think I’m a pretty tolerant person. But these few things here just drive me crazy and I beyond strongly dislike them. » Listicles with multiple pages. Listicles […]

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What I learned this week

26 August 2016

So I saw this as a topic on Lacey’s blog early in the summer, and I thought it was super awesome. I want to incorporate it into my anthropology blog, but I still need to get myself organized for that site. So, I’m going to attempt to do it every so often here. Being in […]

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