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Living vicariously

  • Posted by Giraffe-a-licious
  • 27 Feb 08, 10:46 AM

I am fortunate to be able to say that my little sister is also my best friend. We’re pretty close in age (she’s just 20 months younger than me) and we get along like a house on fire. We’ve spent A LOT of time together over the years, probably more than your average siblings. That’s due in part to my M.E. – no doubt if I hadn’t been ill then I’d have gone off to university at 18 and whilst I imagine we’d always have been close, not living in the same house would definitely have limited our friendship to more normal sibling levels. My little sis was also unable to go to uni. At the age of 16 she went through a couple of years of severe depression and had to drop out of school. However, she’s now fully recovered and is getting out into the world and showing it what she’s made of. Interestingly though it has posed some new difficulties for me, not least the temptation for me to start living vicariously through her.

As I’ve said, we’re very close and that means that although we are very different people we share a lot of the same interests and therefore a lot of the same ambitions, the vast majority of which are just too difficult for me to achieve. Travelling; working; going to music concerts or sporting events; she gets to do all these things whilst I sit at home waiting to hear all about it. Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t begrudge her these experiences in any way. She is my best friend and I love to hear about all her exciting adventures, but the danger is that I start to try and live my ambitions through her and that is incredibly unhealthy for both of us! It means that I can sometimes inadvertently push my dreams and aspirations onto her when she may not share them. It can also become a problem when she’s able to go out and do something that I would desperately have loved to do. By and large I’ve managed to stop comparing my life to that of other people’s over the years but it’s sometimes tough when that person is your best friend and sister.

That said I wouldn’t change our relationship for the world. Goodness knows how I’d have managed without her over the years. Friends that stick by you through thick and thin are rare and valuable. To have one that you get to live with? Well that’s just priceless. (Apologies to Mastercard for the blatant ripping off of their slogan!)

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