One of my all time favorite creative people happens to be Lena Dunham. Creative Writing major at Oberlin College in Ohio, creator, writer and star of her own very show: GIRLS, and over all badass bitch. There is something about the way that she presents her way to the world that makes me crave for that same carelessness about the what other people think. Not in an, “Oh I’m always right and you should just shut the fuck up,” kind of way. It’s more of an, “Oh…okay….well…this is me and who I am so…to bad. Have a nice day! :)” I met her during a reading of her first book, Not That Kind of Girl, October 2014 in Austin, Texas. Here we are. Please, ignore my overly excited photogenic-ism that makes me look like a tr
A couple of years and many projects later, she has recently released a tiny little book called Is It Evil To Not Be Sure? which is an excerpt from Lena Dunham’s college diary. I am yet to purchase the little thing and read it, but the title really made me think of things that I have ever not been sure of and just how full of doubt I made myself feel. Then I think of my two younger sisters and their lives at the moment. How they’re growing up and how I have walked the same path they walk today, only, I did not have a guide of any kind to know how to do things right. Just to clarify, I am not saying that my steps are the corrects ones to follow through. I am not perfect and so with that, my dear sisters know better than to make me the blue print to their flourishing lives. What I can vouch for is the good intentions behind my actions in order to make them see that if a messy, imperfect person like myself can try their best to jump the hurdles of life that sometimes stand at 3 feet tall, that this 5 foot and 1 inch girl can do her best to jump over them. And sometimes I make it over. And sometimes only one foot makes it over and I fall on my face, but I get up.
My middle sister is 20. She will be 21 this September. In societal tradition she will be officially “legal”. She will be able to purchase alcohol and drink it every once in a while in the company of good people. Sometimes in the company of herself.
My “little” sister is 14. She will turn 15 this June. In Mexican tradition, she will be turning into a “woman,” which is impossible for me to process because only yesterday my mother and father sat me and my year-and-a half younger sister to tell us that we were having another sister. Because only yesterday I witnessed her take her first steps across our dining room.
The family of 5 that our family is was a complete puzzle up until I moved away two years ago. I didn’t mean to make the puzzle incomplete, but I did mean to give myself some distance and independence away from everything I had ever known, even if it wasn’t always in the way I wanted it. It’s when you’re away from people and the known to you that you really appreciate it all for what it has always been.
One thing I hoped for when I left was for my middle sister to take over “big sister” duties. Really, there had never been actual duties that I had when I was home except “set the example.” However, my father had always expected that from both of us for the good of our little sister.
I left my home with a heavy heart and guilt at having to leave my sisters by themselves. They had each other and my parents. They had the friends that they made and the people they knew along the way. But a sister bond is something you can’t find anywhere else. And I missed our late night talks, our drives to the Walmart, walking through the clothes, looking at shirts that we could only wish we could buy because we didn’t have any money. We had each other and even today, everyday, I know that I hurt them when I left because we are not each other without each other.
Fall 2015, my little sister began her high school journey.
Having my little sister begin a new chapter of her life was a big deal to all of us. Both my middle sister and I, we couldn’t believe that our little sister was about to become a high school kid- something that we ourselves had been only some years prior. My parents couldn’t believe that their smallest was heading towards the “grownup” path.
Above all the excitement that filled the air, fear crept into my mind thinking of my earlier years in grade school, getting bullied and not feeling like I belonged anywhere. I didn’t want her to feel that way. I wanted her to feel like she could do anything with better opportunities, like the ones I gave up. Like the ones I had never thought twice about.
I will go on to say that all was done with the best of my intentions. I will say that sometimes you think with your heart and not with your mind. and I will say that sometimes what you want for somebody else might not at all be what they want for themselves.
Sometimes I feel like I threw my little sister into a world that only caused her to doubt herself more. At a pivotal time of stress and decisions she did say to me, “you did this to me,” and my heart broke at thinking that if only she had chosen her own trail to the “grownup” path, that maybe the sign of relief into summer vacation, the sigh of relief into what will soon be her sophomore year would have been less heavy in her tiny chest. Inhale. Exhale. Relax. I love you, Birdy.
Fall 2013, my middle sister began her road to her undergraduate college studies; went straight to four more years after four previous years. Just like me.
It’s lovely to think that maybe I had some sort of influence on her decision. Maybe, and most likely, it’s just what is expected of students nowadays. It’s what is expected so you don’t seem lazy or not willing to jump into the next face of your life, almost immediately.
Her and I grew up a year and half apart. 18 months. 547 days. 13128 hours.
We grew up under the same roof. Played with the same toys. Shared the same stories. Borrowed each other’s clothes. And eventhough we grew up on the same street, the one we continued walking down on was different. And that too was okay.
The struggles that we both had during the beginning of our college years were different. The way that we both managed to over come those obstacles have been different. For her, it’s been a rougher road. Her years of life and everything that comes with it. Looking for love and for the good in people that can show you and tell you the nicest of things…and then leave you hanging on a breakable threat. The pressure of carrying the weight to set the best example for our little sister, by herself. Anytime we talk, it seems like the world weighs heavy on her shoulders. But what I want you to know is that I’m on the outside looking in, and you’re doing a great job. The road is rough. The skies above you might be gray and rain may fall on you. But dance in it. Get wet and go with it. I love you, tuti.
The world seems to be a little harder for women. Girls. Females. “The opposit sex.” To know that we have to follow certain rules and regulations, standards and expectations, can be an overwhelming venture. It’s not evil to not be sure of what our next step will be. It’s not evil to make mistakes. For if we would never dare to do anything that would have consequences, then we would never know how to do things right.
I love you girls.
Love your big sister,