Youth Voices: Sibling Rivalry Not A Competition | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.
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

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.
NPR

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

Fewer shark fins are being imported into Hong Kong, the epicenter of shark-fin soup, a culinary delicacy. But while the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat is still going strong.
NPR

Peace Corps Teams Up With First Lady To 'Let Girls Learn'

The Peace Corp will recruit and train about 650 additional volunteers to focus on girls' education around the world. The expansion is part of a larger program launched by Michelle Obama Tuesday.
NPR

FAA Is Trying To Keep Hackers Out Of Air Traffic Control, Official Says

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta tells a House panel that some vulnerabilities reported in a congressional study have been fixed, and the agency is working on others.

Leave a Comment

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