This piece is part of our PANpov series — firsthand stories from employees about unique experiences they bring to integrated marketing, PR and communications. Read more.
When I think about my perspective on the world, there are so many life experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today.
I am proud of the woman I am today: a corporate work-from-home girlie, proud dog mom, homeowner, lesbian, photographer, home chef, foodie and daughter. However, one of the most defining roles and one of the roles I am most proud of is my role as a sister.
As of late, there’s been a lot of negative narratives around being the eldest and the responsibilities that often fall to them. While some of these narratives may be true, I have to say that I am the very proud eldest sister of four beautiful young women. My three sisters span ages 27 to 17 and are the lights of my life. They are the driving force in a lot of the decisions I’ve made in my adult life as I consistently and constantly want to be a positive role model for them and show them all that life has to offer.
While the relationships I’ve developed with my sisters haven’t been void of their own complications, difficulties and frustrations, the love that’s shared between us is everlasting. From the oldest of them (who is my opposite in terms of personality but the sweetest soul I’ve ever met), to the youngest (who has all of the best parts of her older sisters plus her own unique perspective that brings so much good to the world), to the middle, (who is on her own path to self-love and discovery), I have memories with each of them that will forever be near and dear to my heart.
One of the most defining roles and one of the roles I am most proud of is my role as a sister.
As the eldest, it was often my job to set the example, eat my vegetables (even the lima beans) and make sure that our values — politeness, respect, kindness, compassion, etc. — were reflected in my actions. Was I always perfect at it? Absolutely not. However, it gives me a greater sense of purpose to know that there are people looking up to me that I want to impress, that I want to be a guide for, that I want to make proud.
As I’ve moved through life — making career changes, geographic moves, relationship changes, “adult” purchases, or whatever it may be—there’s been such an immense sense of excitement and pride in sharing big moments with my sisters. Showing them what the world can bring you if you take a chance on yourself is so empowering and something I hope to continue doing.
One of my favorite memories comes from having such widespread ages between my youngest sister and myself: 14 years. When I was in high school, I worked for a local pizza shop that paid my hourly rate in cash. So, when I would come home and she’d notice the cash I set on the counter, at three years old, she would run to mom’s van, get her car seat, put it in my car. She’d then tell me that she was ready to go because she knew when I got paid, it meant she’d be getting ice cream that day. It was something she could look forward to, something she could count on, and 15 years later, it is one of my favorite memories.
Being the eldest doesn’t come without its challenges. As we’ve all grown into adults and formed our own lives, our traditions have begun to be interrupted by significant others or differing schedules. Our views of the world are different. Our relationships with each other, other family members and ourselves are different, and that causes difficulties. However, our childhood, our memories and the everlasting love that we share for one another transcends all things and will last a lifetime. It will continue to have a great impact on who I am and how I move through the world, knowing that I have three hearts and minds that want the best for me.