For almost a year and a half I’ve been living in a city away from my family and close friends, and while living in a new place carries with it certain perks as well as the excitement of adventure, there are times when you realise (especially after hard days) that you need your sisters.
I have two sisters that I love dearly. While they were living in Sydney, I was living up north in Brisbane. I grew up with these two girls for most of my life and while each of us could seem a real mystery to the other at times, there was still that sense of being looked out for and being loved simply because you were of the same blood – you were family. I think as the three of us grew older, our understanding and appreciation of ourselves and of each other also grew.
Now my younger sister has moved up to Brisbane as well to continue her university studies, while my older sister is still in Sydney. I remember feeling both excitement at the prospect of having one sister with in Brisbane but sadness as well since one sister would be left behind (so to speak) in Sydney. Though I know ‘moving’ is a part of life, I think these changes really impressed upon me the strength of the unseen bonds between sisters. For me, the physical separation seemed to reinforce the reality that we shared something much stronger that connected us and made us who we are – sisters.
While I strongly believe in the saying my mum instilled in me ever since I could remember: “blood is thicker than water”, I do believe that all women (and men) can have a sister, even if they don’t have blood sisters. Sometimes I think it is up to each young woman to decide if they want to take up the challenge to be that sister to someone who needs one.
While in Brisbane, I’ve made several good friends. Some women in particular have been so good to me. They’ve accompanied me in my times of joy, laughter and success as well as encouraged me through tears and the tough times. People might say I’m lucky to have found friends like that but I don’t really believe in “just luck”. What I do believe is that these very women have chosen to be a sister to me, even when I didn’t ask them to.
There were times I didn’t want other sisters than the blood sisters that I love because, after all, “blood is thicker than water”. However, I had to admit to myself that I needed people around me even though I considered myself old enough and independent enough to look after myself.
When I think about these women who’ve become sisters to me, I realise that they put me before themselves on many occasions. Sure, they’re not my blood sisters – and no one can ever replace the two sisters I have – I know that they would still put their own life on the line for me all the same. And I hope I would do the same for them too.
Authentic friendships seek to bring out the best from each other. In such friendships the “other” always comes before the “me”. Sisterhood is just another manifestation, with its particular feminine character and qualities, of what it is to be a true friend and a happy and mature woman.
SO… my challenge is specifically directed to the ladies: be a woman and a real sister, especially to all those men and women, boys and girls who are in need of a sister in their life.