Sisters are supposed to be built in best friends, but for me, having a sister is nothing more than a built in competitor and source of envy. When we were little girls the playing field seemed level, at only one year apart our lives seemed to closely mirror each other until high school. Then the competition started, no matter what I did Leslie ended up doing it a little bit better.
In high school I made the cheerleading team freshman year, she made it and became captain. I joined the student government as a treasurer, she was Vice President, when it was time to graduate I got accepted to a prestigious local university, she made it to the Ivy League. The list could go on. It's not just academics that my sister one ups me in, she's taller, has longer hair, and better skin. Men fall over themselves when she walks into a room and my parents look at her like the "golden child." Even though I was older, my parents always felt I should be more like Leslie, work as hard as Leslie and even dress like Leslie. My sister of course relishes in all of this and loves to take jabs and give “advice” whenever possible.
Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not a slouch. I work hard, I’m educated, attractive, but it just never seems good enough in comparison to my sister. I’m proud of her and all her successes, even though for her it comes at the invalidation of my own, and I want nothing but the best for her. However, I just wish once I could be in her shoes and come out on top. I want life to just effortlessly fall into place for me just as easily as it does for her. I have to work twice as hard for the opportunities that come to her naturally and it is so frustrating and annoying at times. Most important, I want the love and attention Leslie gets from our parents; that’s the one thing I’m jealous of above all.
I know all of this may sound very childish and believe me I don’t want to be jealous of my own sister. In a perfect world Leslie and I would be best friends, not competitors, and my parents would love and be proud of both of our accomplishments equally. In a perfect world I wouldn’t feel inferior to Leslie in anyway and would be able to find strength in all I’ve accomplished whether anyone sees it or not. But unfortunately, this world, my world, isn’t perfect.
I’ve often thought about having a talk with my sister about my feelings and putting everything out on the table, but I’m afraid she’ll just use my vulnerability on this issue as a way to be “better” once again. In the meantime I’ve decided to try working on myself. I can’t change Leslie or control how her life goes, but I can control myself and my thoughts. Being jealous of my sister isn’t getting me anywhere and every day that I wish I was her is just another day I miss out on the awesomeness that is me. And I definitely don’t want to miss out on that!
~As told to Danielle Pointdujour