WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Youth Voices: Sibling Rivalry Not A Competition

Play associated audio
Youth Voices commentator Tailor Coble found her sibling rivalry was less about being better and more about being herself.
WAMU
Youth Voices commentator Tailor Coble found her sibling rivalry was less about being better and more about being herself.

 

When we were young, my sister Nea and I would wear matching purple raincoats with plaid lining. We wore identical Easter dresses too, got the same Barbie convertible and mansion for Christmas, and always had the same hairstyle. Nea is one year older, but people would swear we were twins. Someone should have told my mom we weren’t.

For most of my life, I’ve been living in Nea’s shadow, always trying to outdo her, but failing each time. My mom would laugh as she told me how much better Nea was as a dancer. Others would say, “Nea has a beautiful voice”, “Nea plays the violin so well”, “Nea is a great student”.

I envied everything she could do -- then got frustrated at feeling inferior. When I was six, I got kicked out of our ballet class for making faces behind the instructor’s back. When I was ten, I quit the 5th grade orchestra. When I was fourteen, I stopped singing. Every time I found myself competing with Nea, I got out of the race.

Cooking became my way out. I liked it and found I had a talent for it. I didn’t need a recipe to make the food delicious. I could take just a handful of ingredients and cook something wonderful. Transform leftovers into tasty casseroles. My family wanted me to bring my “specialties” to holiday dinners.

I’d finally found something I could do better than my sister. But it didn’t make me feel fulfilled like I thought it would. Instead I felt relief the competition was over. I realized I didn’t want to be better than Nea, I just wanted to be accepted for myself, rather than the sister, or daughter, who wasn’t Nea.

Now we play to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to cooking, I excel and Nea sticks with making breakfast. When it comes to giving advice, she gives me the emotional side and I show her the logic. When she performs, I’m there to cheer her on.

I realized that living in the shadows isn’t comfortable for anyone, especially not for me. Now that we’ve outgrown our matching purple raincoats, we can both shine.

 

NPR

'The Terror Years' Traces The Rise Of Al-Qaida And ISIS

Lawrence Wright's new book collects his essays for The New Yorker on the growth of terrorism in the Middle East, from the Sept. 11 attacks to the recent beheadings of journalists and aid workers.
NPR

Berkeley's Soda Tax Appears To Cut Consumption Of Sugary Drinks

According to a new study, the nation's first soda tax succeeded in cutting consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there's uncertainty about whether the effect will be permanent.
WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

WAMU 88.5

Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Newly Uncovered Emails

A federal judge orders a review of nearly fifteen thousand recently discovered Hillary Clinton emails from her time as Secretary of State. A new batch related to the Clinton Foundation was also released. Join us to discuss ongoing questions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.