To preface: I love my sister, but for many years I did not. We were violent, we were cruel and at times we were nothing to each other. Adulthood has made us learn about each other and even love each other.
  1. Has taught me that having shared/similar experiences does not produce the same outcome
    We do not think the same way, believe the same things, care about the same issues, fear the same or rebel the same. This is okay. Each outcome is valid not better or worse.
  2. Has taught me to never let your enemy know what disarms you
    She can cut to the very core to me. I'm thankful that she no longer chooses to do so. I am also thankful that I no longer do the same to her.
  3. Has challenged me to be patient and accepting
    I think she's a crazy person. Or I used to think that. I'm less judgmental now but she's still kind of crazy.
  4. Has taught me to be alone
    Even when we have had to share a room for 15 years we lived alone together. Separate in the same space.
  5. Has made me stronger
    She's made me stand up for myself, fight for myself, challenge my role in my family.
  6. Has made it okay for me not be conventional
    My sister did everything she was supposed to. I did not. I was far more challenging and eventually my parents gave up. I don't envy her life and how by the book it all seems. I'm happy she's done it because she's happy, but as a result I feel less pressure to conform. I know that's opposite for most people, but I feel like my parents are satisfied with having one good daughter. (Yes good is a relative concept and by good to my family it means living according to cultural and gender norms).
  7. Has allowed me to be the cool aunt
    I get to play video games, argue about superheroes, go Pokemon hunting, and play dress up with the niece and nephews. All the fun and very little responsibility is the way I like to live.
  8. Has made me, me.
    We are not perfect siblings. I know the limitations of our relationship. I know that she is unable to support me in the ways that I need and it's not because she doesn't want to its because she can't. I am and will always be the Solange to her Beyonce. Unfailingly and unabashedly loyal and I love that part of who I am.