How To Be The Eldest Sibling

Source: Independent

Source: Independent

Lisa reflects on life as the one all your brothers and sisters look up to and how her life decisions have knock-on effects for them.

Growing up with siblings is great…

Growing up with siblings is great: your best friends constantly surround you. Liberty and peace is what you feel. Everything is easy.

But as we grow, so do external expectations on us. As we build our own futures, our younger siblings invariably look to us as role models.

At the age 15, I decided to do a hair and beauty course, only to realise that I didn’t want a career in that industry. I dropped out a month before my final assessment, which left me with experience but unqualified.  At 16, I decided to pursue music production; music had been a form of therapy for me for most of my teen years.  But after a while I felt empty and I realised, I didn’t have the heart for it. So I decided to leave.

This made a huge impact on my family. My parents thought I’d end up leaving education and take the path they took. They even forbid me to do that. My siblings questioned themselves, because if I, their role model was walking away from all my ‘beloved things’, what did that mean for them. It left them confused. My friends had all been studying things they are passionate about. I couldn’t understand why they knew who they were and I didn’t. I started to believe that I didn’t have a place in this world.

But after a while I felt empty and I realised, I didn’t have the heart for it.

When I turned 17, I was still confused. I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do/be in life. I didn’t have an idea of who I even was. I decided to stay out of education until I truly knew what it was I wanted. I didn’t set myself a time limit for this. But six months down the line, I found myself back at college. Only this time, to redo my maths, English and gain skills that made me more employable.

At this point, I realised. I am a role model to my siblings, and if I fail, they will too. I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to prove myself right. At 17, I discovered who I was and what I longed to me. A writer; I had been writing stories ever since I was eight or nine years old.  Writing was something I did every day and enjoyed it. I had passion for it, and I still do.

At the age of 18, I have finally discovered myself; and I thankfully found my favourite thing. Family and friends wanted me to study the things that they thought were best, but I knew the truth. It wasn’t me. If I had listened, I’d live a life that wasn’t mine.

There is a place in this world for me and as the days go by, I work harder to secure it.

There is a place in this world for me and as the days go by, I work harder to secure it.

My younger siblings, aged 16, 15 and 14 now have the understanding that it is acceptable to not have an idea of what you want to pursue.

My sister, age 15, once said that I am the inspiration for the family and even if I don’t know it, I am the reason they all strive for success.

My sister, age 15, is focusing on building a music career, making opportunities and dedicating her time to write new music. She is currently in year 11, due to leave school in June 2016, although she is still young; she knows exactly what she wants to do and she is building her own pathway.

My youngest brother, age 14 is currently in year 10. He is spending his time, improving his maths, science and English. -In a recent conversation he spoke about his intentions for going to college to study digital technology and hopefully in the near future, to move on to university for further education.

My brother, closest to my age is currently at college, gaining strength in mathematics and English so he can move on to studying physical sports. Football has always been his main focus in life; he plays the sport without fail everyday, in all weathers. He also added that he’d like to get into mechanics, mainly working on motorcycles and cars, as he has always been fluent with practical things.

They are all on a journey of creating their own future, turning to me for help and support when it is needed.

Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you look up to them? Do they look up to you? Let us know: Facebook or Twittybobs

Need career advice? Check out our friends, Creative Youth Network’s Creative Careers courses

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