Hello Blog World! Did you miss me? Probably not, but that’s okay. I was a little preoccupied these past two weeks with visiting my lovely cousin and sister in the great Pacific NorthWest. Such a beautiful area might I add. During my time there, I explored both Urban and Nature settings, by viewing many of Seattle’s districts and by taking a trip to the Olympic Peninsula to get lost in Mother Nature.
This trip wasn’t just about seeing the area, but like I had mentioned, visiting family. I was spoiled to have many intellectual and open minded conversations with my cousin and her fiancé. Our topics ranged from sociology to nutrition, as well as many life experiences that helped shape our perspectives on the world and ourselves. One of these conversations I felt was worth sharing with everyone…
A brief background to set the scene: My sister and I are very close. While we had our riffs and spats growing up, we generally got along and had a lot of bonding activities. We have a similar sense of humor and joke around a bit with each other, especially with quoting our favorite show as teens (Futurama). We also share artistic qualities, and would often spend time creating something, whether it be a painting, a store bought craft, or some Christmas ornaments.
Transitioning to adulthood, it appears that we have taken different paths in our lives. I went away to college and am in the process of starting my career. I still live at home with my folks, saving my money and paying off student loans (yay USA educational systems). I don’t have a specific religion or political ideology. I am a Vegan and a Feminist, and despite me choosing to live with my parents, I live a very independent life.
My sister on the other hand, got married at an early age to her high school boyfriend who is now active in the navy. She moved halfway across the country with him and has been taking online classes to finish up her Associate Degree and has been looking into options to pursue as a major. She is Christian, and from what I can tell, wants to have children someday. She seems to want to follow many and live the “American Dream”. Oh yea, and man can that girl down a steak.
So when I went to visit her, I got to hear a little more about her lifestyle. This gave me a better idea of the dynamics of her and her husband, him being the current “breadwinner”, and her doing many household duties like cooking and cleaning. She took his last name, which took some getting used to on my part. All of these choices she has made for herself made me a little shocked, after all, the feminist in me would not change my name when (or if ever) I get married, and for a while, it did bother me that she got married at such a young age, but after hearing about her lifestyle, and being a little taken aback, I realized why I was so shocked….because I was putting myself in her shoes, which normally is a good habit to have, but not for this situation. I keep picturing myself being a housewife and how much I would hate to be in that position, but that was me, and my sister is not me. To her, maybe being a mother and wife is the role for her, and what makes her happy. She is a different person than me, and while we have many shared similarities, respecting our differences is also important. Even though we chose different paths in life, I can still be close to my sister.
I share this story because sometimes we think others have to live similar lives to us in order to be happy or for us to accept them. I struggled with this for a while a year ago when my sister got married. I thought she was making a mistake, that she would be happier if she waited. But she has her own life, and only she knows what makes her happy. I didn’t want to ruin the relationship I had with her due to my own opinions, so I learned and changed my understanding of happiness and how others live their lives. It has brought me great peace and I can continue to grow and develop a good relationship with her for the years to come, wherever our lives take us 🙂