we. are. family.

I grew up surrounded  by girls. Me and my two younger sisters (who were all “supposed” to be boys. lol). COUNTLESS female cousins (literally, countless. Real difficult to keep track of my clan lol.). Six years of single-sex education. Seriously, my formative years were all about female bonding. Well, maybe not bonding so much. But anyways. Today I’m focusing on the 4 women who lived in the same four walls as me.

Me and my sisters and my mom. To this day, it has not ceased to amaze me how four people, who by all science-y genetic arguments, should be very similar, can be so unbelievably different. Confounds the nature AND the nurture junk. But it does give a great foundation for some conflict, lol. Lets run it down, shall we?

Well there’s my Mother first, of course. Bubbly, talkative, lovingly goofy and just a liiiittle bit dramatic. Loves to sing (off-key, mind you :), a big ole’ bundle of love and smooches wrapped in an unfailingly strong, sometimes terrifying, and loyal exterior, my mother pretty much holds my family together. She’s the one who beat the sense into us when we needed it, and drove 3 cars into the dirt (Civic, Windstar, Montero) supporting our every want, need, aspiration and desire, along with a few unhealthy shopping habits :)

Next? Me. Oldest child, a.k.a. “#1.” Y’all already know. lol. Moving on…

#2 is by far the most outspoken of the bunch. She’s LOUD. In the best ways possible. Unique, daring, unapologetic, angsty and raw, she is that IDGAF chick throwing up the “rockstar” who you wish you could kick it with. Neon sneakers, red lipstick and leopard print? Check, check and check. lol. My complete and utter opposite, we NEVER got along growing up, we were always at odds about something or other. But she is FIERCE. lol.

#3 probably outpaces me in one respect: she is definitely more bougie than me. Don’t think it’s possible? Seriously. She is all things bouge and valley personified lol. Quieter and a little more acquiescent, she’s the most mellow of us all. Laid back and chillin’ in the cut, she’s effortlessly relaxed at all times. A little more like me, but because she’s the baby, she got everything she wanted. So it was easy for her to be chill lol.

See what I mean though? Some similarities, but overall, we are completely, utterly, and sometimes irritatingly different people. From the same family. And the same house. *cue the chaos* lol.

Understandably, we butted heads more than most. I was always confused as to why my friends with one sister, or two sisters with greater age differences seemed to get along so much better than the ladies in my house. Now looking back, I realize there was just too much going on in my house. We were too different, too close in age, there was just way too much personality in one house lol. (My mother was mid-twenties when she had me, and there’s only 9 years between me and #3. So it’s a tight age gap.). And then you throw in the fact that we’re all loud, African, and a little bit crazy? I think you get the picture.

Growing up in my house meant operating on the understanding that with this many other personalities and individuals vying for center stage, the only way to get there was by bumping the person currently in the spotlight. Girls by nature are always at each other’s throats. And we were sisters. lol.  Talk about upping the ante.

So we argued, fought tooth and nail, for a couple minutes to shine, before the next person decided it was time for you to keep it moving. But I definitely don’t think this is a bad thing. If anything, I think it (and my mother) taught us each to thrive on competition. I mean when you’re constantly up against such dynamos in your own household, the rest of the world can kick rocks. Getting your shine on in my house meant that once you walked out the door, nobody could tell us nuthin’. Seriously. I don’t think I would have liked so much the person we each became if it wasn’t for our tumultuous childhood lol.

Eventually, the chaos subsided. I moved out, #2 jumped the pond, and #3 gets to kick  back and conquer highschool with the effortless calm she always had, with the peace of mind that her nutty older sisters are far-far-away. We understand each other a lot better now. A more distant perspective on those years way back when all we could do was fight has, in my opinion, made us closer.

My little sisters and my mom are amazing women. I may not say it enough, but they really are. I cherish every scuffle, shouting match, slammed door, and smart-ass comment lol. We’re a bunch of born n’ bred fighters, and with that kind of history behind us, there is nothing we can’t take on. So don’t try us. ‘Cause we’re crazy. lol.

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