I am the younger of two sisters born 14 months apart. Hence, my older sister has always been a fundamental piece of who I am, as there was no me before her. This situation has meant that over the years, I constantly benchmarked my own accomplishments against hers. And, as the younger sibling, I generally did not come out on top. In addition, I grew up red-headed, with glasses, freckles and for a while, braces. It was the trifecta of aesthetic sins for a young girl. This combination of circumstances meant that my self-esteem suffered and resentment simmered. In fact, I carried that sense of inferiority with me into adulthood. It was a motivating force, as well as burden to carry.
All of that changed when I started writing my book. I realized that all that comparing and competing was MY issue, not my sisters. I had created the frictions between us because of my own sense of coming up short. I had found myself lacking, not because I was, but because I thought I was. My sister was an innocent and passive actor in my own personal drama.
These realizations have totally changed my life and my perspective on my childhood. They would have taken ten years of therapy to uncover, and I did it in one year of writing! Salute to the power of the pen.