Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Rivalry Revival

Something has happened in the past year to inflame old hurts between my sister L and I. Something about moving Mother to Arizona. Something about spending a week in our old house, getting it ready to sell. Something about me being in charge and her not doing anything to help. I don't know exactly what this something is. I just know it's eating up more of my energy than I want it to.

In an effort to generate compassion for L, I spent some time imagining what it must have been like for her all these years, having a younger sister like me. Things that were hard for her just came easy for me. I got better grades. I was musical. I had a steady boyfriend all through high school. I graduated from college. Had interesting jobs. Got to travel. It's not hard to see what this could mean to a big sister. If I had a kid sister like me? Honestly, I'd hate her guts. If I were L. Which of course I'm not.

I always tried to keep my accomplishments quiet. I didn't want to hurt L's feelings. And I didn't want the bitterness and criticism that would come my way if I came across like a show-off. This tendency of mine to keep my talents quiet, to try a little less hard so as not to show anybody up -- it's still with me. Maybe if I can leave the rivalry behind, I can leave that behind, too.

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