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Youth Voices: Sibling Rivalry Not A Competition

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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.

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

WAMU 88.5

Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

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