Harker Aquila

Living in the shadows

This+cartoon+depicts+what+it+feels+like+when+I+am+constantly+being+compared+to+my+sister.+All+the+light+and+glory+shines+on+her%2C+while+I%E2%80%99m+sitting+behind+in+her+shadow+enveloped+in+darkness+where+no+one+can+see+me.
This cartoon depicts what it feels like when I am constantly being compared to my sister. All the light and glory shines on her, while I’m sitting behind in her shadow enveloped in darkness where no one can see me.

This cartoon depicts what it feels like when I am constantly being compared to my sister. All the light and glory shines on her, while I’m sitting behind in her shadow enveloped in darkness where no one can see me.

Laura Wu

Laura Wu

This cartoon depicts what it feels like when I am constantly being compared to my sister. All the light and glory shines on her, while I’m sitting behind in her shadow enveloped in darkness where no one can see me.

by Laura Wu, TALON People Editor

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“Oh, I know your sister!” These are the words that I always hear but never really want to. I love my sister, but it is never enjoyable to be in another person’s shadow and continuously compared to them. I am forever known to others, especially teachers and upperclassmen as my older sister’s sibling. I am no longer just Laura, and now have pressure to live up to her reputation.

People commonly hint at or sometimes even say straight up ask “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” She has always been the star of the family. I am smart, but she is smarter. I get good grades, but she gets almost perfect grades. She artistic and can paint from nature. She is also musically gifted and can play a song just by listening to it a few times.

I remember being jealous of her in elementary school, wanting to be just like her. One day my teacher tested me on ear training, where she plays a chord and I have to say what it is. She started off saying, “This shouldn’t be too hard since your sister is really good at this,” but my sister has always had a sensitive ear and could discern what notes were played.

After playing a chord, she asked “Which one is it: major third or minor third?” Very confused, I guessed, “Major third?” We repeated this several more times, before finally stopping.

Turns out, I failed pretty badly and had trouble figuring out major from minor, authentic from plagal, a perfect fourth from a perfect fifth. Her response was something along the lines of shock at how bad I was compared to my sister who excelled at it.

Even my parents constantly compare me against her. My mom always comments on how she’s too skinny and needs to eat more, while I am eating too many sweets and need to lose weight, even though we are the similar in weight, height and clothing size. She yells at me for having a sweet tooth despite my sister being the one who eats a dessert everyday after dinner.

However, I know that this is not unique to me. Almost everyone who has a sibling will be compared to each other at some point in life, expected to be equal if not better than the other person in every single aspect. After years of trying to catch up to my older sister, I have discovered that although I will never be as smart or artistic as her, I do not need to be and that we are two different people who have different talents and strengths.

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Living in the shadows