Guest Post by Tiffany
My younger sister and I are polar opposites. I’m an introvert. She’s an extrovert. I tend to wear earth tones, while she wears the most colorful outfits she can find. I prefer being inconspicuous. She literally sprays herself with glitter before leaving the house.
I spent most of my life focusing on our differences. I would look at her in her bright yellow leggings and purple shoes and wonder how we were even born into the same family. And I know I bored her to tears, so she probably had similar thoughts. We just didn’t get each other at all.
Right after my son was born, she moved out of state for the summer. When she came back 3 months later, I thought my baby would be scared of her loudness. I was dead wrong. He saw her, giggled, and reached out to her. They were soul mates. As he’s grown I’ve realized that he inherited a healthy dose of his aunt’s personality.
My son and my sister adored each other, so how could I not love someone who loved my child so much? We started spending a lot of time together. It’s been nine years, and now my sister is my best friend. Somehow we were both able to let go of our old differences and allow a new relationship to form.
Now, she’s the person I go to when I need to talk, or vent, or laugh. I can be completely myself without any judgment. I laugh harder with her than with anyone else. If I’m having a really crappy day, she lets me be obnoxiously cranky and loves me anyway. I don’t know what I’d do without her friendship.
During the times that we were focused on our differences, we inflicted a lot of pain on each other. I think we sort of wanted to be friends, but we both felt so misunderstood that we didn’t know how to bridge the gap between us. We both had to get to a place where we were capable of compromise. I learned to accept all of her color and vibrancy, and even love that about her. She accepted that I’ll never be quite as adventurous as she is (among many other things we had to work through).
As I read and listen to stories from my LGBT friends, I see so much hurt caused by families. This breaks my heart. Ideally, families should be the ones who love us no matter what. But realistically, even without the issue of homosexuality, families seldom behave in an ideal way. There are layers of complication in my own family, and also in my husband’s family.
I don’t mean to trivialize the hurt or distance that some people are experiencing in their relationships. And I realize that some relationships may always be difficult. Ten years ago, if someone had told me that my sister would become my best friend, I would have laughed. But, you never know what can happen with a little (or a lot) of time. Relationships have a way of evolving.