Hi, my friends,
I hope you had a nice weekend and that you are enjoying this quite subtle start of spring! I can’t wait to stop wearing coats and parkas but it looks like I’ll have to wait a couple of months more before I can just bring them to the dry cleaner and forget about them.
As I mentioned in my February update, I spent the first weekend of March with my parents, my sister L and my little brother A. They didn’t stay here long, though it was long enough to see London covered in snow, check out a couple of shops (we discovered there’s a place where they build oboes in Mayfair!) and have breakfast at my favourite place, Gail’s. I’m happy we managed to see a white London mainly because it felt like we were trapped in a snow globe, but also because my mom loves snow and I wanted her to have a good time.
Moreover, I’m glad I had time to catch up with my little brother and sister. Every time I see them, I struggle to believe they are now teenagers with their own life and attitude and sometimes I find myself thinking that it’s just a matter of time until they will somehow grow back to be the little kids they were a bunch of years ago. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case, they will eventually become adults and they will start making me feel even older.
In the past year, a lot of things changed. My sister M said yes to her fianceè and she’s now ready to move out, my sister A is now in Austria and I moved to London after spending one year at home with my parents. What I’m trying to say is that we are slowly moving apart, like little islands that were once part of the same archipelago, as George Clooney said in that movie, The Descendants. We are ready to pack our colourful shelves in boxes, give a hug to mom and dad, go build our own place and come back only for the holidays. It is truly exciting and devastatingly sad at the same time.
While all these changes take place, I’ve found myself in a weird position as the eldest sister. On the one side, I am the one who moved out first, years and years ago, when I started university. In the beginning, I used to spend the week in the city I was studying and the weekend with family. Slowly, 4 weekends at home became one and then I moved to Sydney and I saw my family once in 2 years. I think I needed that break to fully discover the person I am when I am not part of my big, chaotic family, yet I now struggle to understand why my sisters need to do the same. I’m the first one who left, yet I’m now pretty scared of what will happen next.
Spending some time with my little sister L made me realise that she has big dreams and she’s more than entitled to fulfil them, just as I’m trying to do. She wants to study in a good university, she wants to go and live somewhere else, find her own way in life and she doesn’t really need us to do that. In fact, that’s probably something she will do on her own. However, I want to be part of her life, I don’t want to stop being her sister (and of course that’s true for M, A, C, and A as well). It is quite tough to be in the position where you know they’ll need some years to discover life before they’ll come back to their family, but still desperately wanting to be part of their future.
In the meantime, I have a full-time job that fills most of my days, a blog and an experimental YouTube channel that take up most of my free time and I have L, who represents my new family. I, of course, want to dedicate time to my hobbies and I want to build my own life while at the same time I want my sisters to be part of it and I want to be part of their life – without being intrusive. So here’s when I think I truly need to play the part of the eldest sister, by making sure I don’t lose touch with any of them. When I was a little girl, I thought the main challenge of being the eldest was more related to the relationship with my parents as I was the first, the guinea pig, if you want. I at least don’t remember thinking: oh no, how can I be a person my sisters will look at? I guess I was not that mature to think about it, I just did what I wanted to do.
Now though the roles have changed and I think that if the relationship with my parents has evolved into something unique and special, I need to work proactively to keep the wonderful bound I have with my brother and sisters. We are blessed enough to consider each other friends and to still be close at an age where other families have already grown apart. I wish for us to be one of those families you see on TV like in Brothers and Sisters or in Grace and Frankie where they are all there for each other.
The fact that we all aspire to live abroad for a while doesn’t help, though I know we can be stronger than that if we want to. I truly hope we will find a way to keep talking to each other, no matter what.
So yes, this is what I’ve been thinking in the past few days: being the eldest sister is a challenge that never ends. I hope I’ll be up to it! As usual, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I’ll look forward to reading your comments down below!
My jumper is on sale here
My trousers are here