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In My Sister's Shoes

            Everyone has a story; stories that are self-defining, stories that explain circumstance and stories that change the course of life. People evolve into their current selves as a result of their surroundings and what they allow to influence their psyche. These influences are can be precipitated by government, religion, family dynamics and environment. For some people, there is an innate struggle to develop into who they want to be because, in truth, they are not always the narrators of their own story. Often times, individuals are forced to play a role that is foreign to their nature and attempt to live their lives in the shadow of a character in which they are encouraged by others to play. This is my story.
             I come from an immigrant family who set goals for their lives and family immediately upon arrival. Their dreams would have longevity through their daughters.
             I am the middle daughter in my strong willed Guyanese family and I was fortunate to have an older sister blazed an incredible trail for her sisters. This blazing trail, however, set me on fire. As far as my parents were concerned, there was only one way to succeed and that was taking steps exactly as she took them. All of my life I had to compete with her legacy, while suppressing the person who shined brightly inside of me. I knew this person had her own story, but I was made to play a role. I had to prove I was just as smart and capable of the same accomplishments because there was another sister behind me who had the same lessons to learn. .
             As irony would have it, my parents encouraged me everyday to "be a leader, not a follower." This has always resonated with me and it gave me the motivation to branch out, even from what they envisioned for my future. I am thankful to my parents for how hard they worked to provide for our family. They furnished my sisters and I with everything in their power, even when we knew they could not always afford to do so and we wanted for nothing.

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