Lately, my two older twin sisters have been busy packing their entire lives into boxes and suitcases. Deciding what to take, what to leave, what to completely toss. They’ve purchased twin XL sheets and comforters, coffee pots, laptop ports and keyboards. This can only mean one thing: college. And that’s exactly what it is; in just one week’s time, my sisters will be leaving the only life they’ve ever known to begin a new one.
Right now, the stress the next few months will bring on hasn’t sunk in yet. The tests and crammed study sessions are simply a far off worry at this point. Right now, they are much more eager beavers than worried warts. For good reason, too. For the first time in their lives, they won’t have our parents there every day prodding and questioning at the dinner table. They will be surrounded by people their age 24-7. They will be able to make their own decisions on their own schedule. It is a whole new chapter for them.
While I still have another year of high school left, I can’t help feeling that it is a whole new chapter for me as well. For the first time in my life, I won’t have my sisters around every day. Mostly that means I won’t have a constant companion that I can seek out in times of loneliness. When the burdens of solitude set in, I will be forced to pick up a phone and call a friend who doesn’t share my blood. I will have to use social media outlets or otherwise get in a car and drive to see someone rather than just going to the bedroom next to mine. This new chapter will force me to branch out from my two sisters, my two very best friends.
The fact I’m having trouble adjusting to is not that I will have to branch out, though. I have good friends beyond my sisters now. It’s really that the two people who know everything about meâ€”who I can talk to about parents or my past or can understand my personality without restraintsâ€”will no longer be there whenever I need them.
Beyond the companionship they give me, both of my sisters have always aided me in my academics. They’ve been like my own private tutors over the years. I’m never one to shy away from asking a question if I have one. I’m not afraid of seeming ignorant. I believe that having the question answered will move me beyond this seeming ignorance. What I have never fully acknowledged, however, is that I may have been more courageous because I was simply asking my sisters for help. There was no way I could have made myself out like an idiot in front of themâ€”they already know I am one, after all. Heading into my senior year, I will be forced to ask someone else, be that friend or teacher, about Calculus or Physics or Literature. This redirection may force me to try and answer the question for myself. And if I’m studying late at night, I will have to wait until morning. Another luxury I took for granted.
I guess what really ends this chapter for me is not the constant companionship or tutor or best friends I am losing, but rather that this is the official conclusion of my childhood. Not only are the two friends I have had my entire life leaving to grow upâ€”but, as a result, I’m growing up too. I finally have my license, I’ll be receiving a credit card in my parents’ name so that I may do grocery shopping for them, I’ll be applying to college this fall. While I might not be turning eighteen for another six months, it is truly my sisters’ departure that has brought on the transition from childhood to adulthood, not a date on the calendar.
I remember when I was younger and I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to have my own car and all the thrills that came with it. I couldn’t wait to go shopping on my own. Couldn’t wait to be a senior in high school, the top of the pack. Right now, I am still excited for all these things. There has been some realization that is isn’t all rosesâ€”that there are bills, consequences, and burdens that come with this life. A realization that surely all teenagers go through.
Yet, even with all this eagerness to begin my senior year, there is still a hint of sadness tainting the water. It is not the realization that all these â€œadultâ€ things I dreamed about as a child are more complicated than I believed they would be, but rather that this life with my sisters is coming to an end. We will most likely never live under the same roof again. I will no longer be able to see them all summer long under hot, humid skies and lazy afternoons. I will no longer be able to look forward to seeing them after school every day.
At the same time, my sisters and I have grown to the age where we are all ready for our separate lives. We have become bulls stuck in a pen that is too small. As a result, we are butting heads and thrashing against fences. Since I have received my license, the three of us are battling over the single car and who can have it. We are all nosy about each other’s lives yet refuse to relent any details. My oldest sister in particular is having trouble with nearly being free but not quite there yet. She wants all the luxuries of our parents’ lifestyle, yet she no longer wants them medaling. She has become much like a bird ready to fly from the nest though still wanting mama bird to bring her worms. Though my sisters aren’t completely free yet, they will be taking flight next Friday. They will return home to the nest at some point in the coming months to rest their wings, but I know those times will shorten until the day comes they will leave and not return. Of course, I know that day is not far behind for me either. I guess, in the end, it isn’t simply that my sisters are leaving, but more the realization that, soon, it will be me.