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Photo: Taelar Pollmann ⋅ The Sentry

Sibling Rivalry

By this time next week, my sister will be in London. She’s going there for a year to study at the University College of London.

My sister is an interesting person, especially when it comes to education. Since middle school, or maybe even before, she was determined to attend college in New York City. She did. She has always wanted to work for the United Nations as well. She also did that by working for UNICEF.

Noëlle is very determined, and I’ve always admired her for that. Sometimes, maybe, I’ve admired her too much. I always wanted to be like her because she seemed effortlessly cool and always, always had friends to spare.

In fact, in high school, I idolized her so much that I convinced myself I had to excel in and graduate from the International Baccalaureate Program to amount to anything. I struggled in the accelerated courses of the program and was never truly able to find my footing. I ended up dropping out after two years and switching into AP classes. I did much better there. The work was still challenging but something I could accomplish.

I had to realize that I am not my sister, even if sometimes I want to be. It was sort of a rivalry that she had no idea she was a part of.

But don’t worry. There’s no rivalry anymore, but I am jealous that she’s been out of the country a billion times and that recently she worked at Taylor Swift’s pop-up shop and also got a selfie with her. So, like, I hate her, but I don’t.

In all seriousness, I do adore my sister, and I’ve had to learn the difference between admiring someone and idolizing them. It’s a fine line to walk, but it’s important for me to understand that even though I love my sister with all my heart, I am not her.

Moving to Denver, making films, and working at The Sentry have all helped me to move away from imitating Noëlle. Still, my taste in music, my sense of fashion, and so many other parts of who I am are because of her. And, yeah, I don’t mind it at all.

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