I agree with this so much, and think about theese things a lot for that one day when it’s my turn to maybe become a parent. Until then I challenge myself all the time, try harder, fail and try again. For the last couple of years I’ve also started to challenge my sister s lot. She’s the youngest in our family and is the last one to leave the nest. So somehow my parents feel that spoiling her a little bit won’t hurt. I see this, so I push her, make her uncomfortable, let her now that the best things in life also brings uncomfortable challenges that she will have to endure and fight through. She sees me fight for my life, for my own decisions. And now she’s starting to understand.
Last year for example she was 16. I was on my way to the other side of the world on exchange (from Finland to Calgary). My sister went on about how lucky I was, at the same time she was marvelled – what had I done to get to do this? My mom and dad were freaked out, like always, about money. How would I survive? But I had it all planned out.
The plan was also to visit my cousin and spend christmas and new years with her family in California. And my sister knew this. She wanted it too, very badly. So I said: ”Well, do it then. Save money and go! It’s never impossible.”
My sister had never been on a flight before. So when I said it she looked at me with big eyes, marvelled but yet scared: ”I don’t know anything about travelling. I can’t go alone! I don’t have enough money!”
The thing was, if she wanted to go, she would have to go alone. Travel all the way from Finland to CA, all by herself, if the money and our parents allowed it. We’re a typical working class family and are well aware that money doesn't grow on trees.
But my sister had already caught one piece of the carrot. I knew that she would fight through this. I just had to push her into believing in herself.
Four months later, me and my cousin waited for her at the airport on the other side of the world.
My sister had done it. And she was on her way. And Oh My Lord how big her eyes were when she saw us! She was mindblown, could almost not understand that she had made it All-by-herself! It was amazing to watch. I could see a new kind of confidence starting to grow in her. This was her way of leaving the nest.
Her friends were mindblown too – they told her that even if they’ve been flying almost every year to warmer places to spend holidays with their families on the beach, they would never go anywhere alone, absolutely never that far.
So they were mindblown. My quiet and shy little sister did it. And it sparked a confidence in her.
Now. Two years later she’s graduating in may. And she has it all planned out for one year forward. She’s going as an au-pair to Australia, to find out more about herself and the world. She’s saving money like crazy and has a focus like never before.
And I couldn’t be more proud. But I will continue to push, inspire and see her grow.
That’s what I as a sister should do, I believe.