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Archive for the tag “sisters”

Sasha Obama: An Ode to the Little Sisters With Big Presence

sashaservesface

Sasha is serving face in attendance at her first state dinner. Image: Getty/Pool

Ok, it’s been a looong time since I’ve connected with the lifers. I’m sorry.

My life has been out of control in both positive and negative ways. I’ve been going hard at school, facing a lot of challenges and the stress from it all has messed with my health and caused me to shut it down for at least a day and a half this week.

But we’re going to push all of that aside to talk about someone who I connect with on so many levels it’s not even funny. I was so inspired, I had to come out of semi-blog hiatus to pay proper respect.

Natasha Obama is her government name, but she’s so real, her fam is so real, everyone knows her as Sasha. And you can’t get no more government than living at the White House, but folks ain’t gonna call her Natasha or Tasha. Nope. It’s Sasha, baby. So there’s already something kind of counter going on.

Miss Sasha has had swag since day one, and paved the way for the Riley Curries of the world to hijack the hearts of millions with one well-placed honest look or reaction to their famous dad, or even the public.

sasha early years gettyimages-51913478

Here’s Sasha looking at the camera as if to say, “I been on.” Circa 2005 Senate Swearing in ceremony. Riley Curry is new to this. Sasha Fierce is true to this.

The cool thing about Sasha is she knows yall are watching, and she doesn’t care. Sasha has to be the founding member and president of the Sidwell Friends chapter of the “No Fucks Club.” And I’m here for it.

Obama departs Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha (R), along with two of Sasha’s friends, board Air Force One as they depart Joint Base Andrews in Washington July 17, 2015. President Obama and Sasha are traveling to New York City to meet up with Obama’s other daughter Malia for some father-daughter time. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Here’s the thing though. There’s something magical about being the younger sister to a female sibling.

Me and my sister are 10 years apart. The gap between Sasha and her older and equally fabulous sister Malia isn’t as large, but how Sasha goes about this thing called life felt so familiar.

When you’re a younger sister, you spend time really admiring your older sister, but you aren’t blind to her flaws either. You know the personality traits that might be holding her back, and you’re frustrated about them because you think she’s amazing and while you’re working out who YOU are based on what you see in your mom and your older sister and other women figures in your life, you also become very clear on adapting the things you admire and avoiding the things that you may be critical of her about.

As a younger sister, you are, on some level in a mental competition with your sister and this competition is for you.

If your sister met certain benchmarks in high school, your teachers remind you of this, so you aspire to reach higher and basically break family records, you have a family name to uphold, but you also have to set yourself apart.

My sister was the first in our house hold to go to college. I was the first to go on a scholarship. My sister was an honor roll student, but I was an honor roll student taking advanced placement classes. My sister played basketball and was the captain of the cheerleading team.

I played basketball and volleyball. Cheerleading? Nah, son.

Younger sisters are known for being more outspoken, throwing more shade and generally being the hell-raisers who question parental authority, test and push boundaries and get off on going left when everyone else goes right. And while they may give their older sisters grief, little sisters are fiercely protective of their big sisters and will go to war if anyone messes with them. Little sisters will get ugly, down and dirty when big sisters try to keep the drama to a minimum. And to some extent it’s true.

Speaking of younger sisters getting down and throwing the hands if need be…Another famous younger sister sibling Solange Knowles is a fantastic example of a strong younger sister who can follow the beat of her own drum, have the room to speak her mind, try new things and be spared some of the level of scrutiny her superstar sis Beyonce would face if she took some of the same risks or even actually truly spoke her mind.

Beyonce gives a nod to this point in one of her songs “Flawless.” “My sister taught me I should speak my mind.”

Sometimes bad ass little sisters give older sisters the permission and the safe space to let loose a little, even if it’s between the both of them. And that’s a super power in itself, when older sisters who have characteristics of their own, might feel as if they have to be the more responsible and restrained one, especially in public (knowing their younger sister probably gives no damns at all).

As I see the Obama girls grow into gorgeous, confident, poised young women, as we saw last night in a few photos from their first state dinner, I couldn’t help but seriously see myself in Sasha, even though I don’t have the powerful parents or the bank account.

I saw a young woman who continues to carve out who she is in the shadow of parents and a sibling that basically define black American excellence, who is comfortable.

She’s human. Her face is expressive. You can tell when she’s bored, you can tell when she’s amused and you can see straight joy and animation when she’s got her head cocked back holding court with her friends and cousins. You see glimpses of the strength she gives her older sister from a shared photographed glance.

Sasha-and-Malia-Obama-through-the-years_1_1

UPI.com

Shine on Sasha!! Let’s go little sisters!

 

 

 

 

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A Tale of Two Sisters

I have had a million things on my mind.

What else is new?

I had a strange feeling yesterday as my sister sent me a lovely photo of her, my brother in law and nephew after church.

They looked like the perfect little family.

It was like three in the afternoon, I didn’t go to church, I was still in my pjs and I was alone. I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t gone to church in weeks. But I really didn’t have the energy to sit through service as people went on about their mothers. I love my mother and I’m thankful for her, but it’s not a day that I really enjoy because of how complicated our relationship is.

I was a little bit jealous looking at the photo, but at the same time so happy that my sister managed to find her happiness and find her place and her lane.

My sister has been the kind of woman who settles down and always appears to be content. Sometimes I confused that for her playing it safe, and settling, meanwhile I was always the one to branch out, do something different or crazy and test my limits and my independence.

Sometimes, it made me feel superior.

I often wondered, why don’t you want MORE? What is out there that you dream of or feel like you lack? Why haven’t you just gone for it?

It confused me. I felt like we were made up of the same stuff, surely she had a desire for more. I looked up to her. She was a great student, a good athlete, very smart, very beautiful. I felt like she hid from her greatness. It was like her greatness was more than she could stand, a burden, a sin and she wanted nothing to do with it. It would draw too much attention, and it would be too much.

That bothered me, since I thought so much of her. I but I actually still do think highly of her. But she’s not me, and I’m not her.

She is still a little bit of a mystery because a decade separates us. She was off to college when I was eight, and she never came back home.

She never stepped up to meet it her greatness and look it in the face and accept it, I thought. Even when I tell her how beautiful she is and how she should wear her heels higher and her jeans a little tighter, she’d just shake her head. It wasn’t comfortable to her.

Why didn’t she she what I saw?

I’ve come to the conclusion, my sister is satisfied.

Sometimes, I am jealous of her ability to be satisfied, while I’m always in search of the next, the better. I can’t stand still, and more and more, I say what’s on my mind and what I won’t accept and then I don’t accept it.

We’re two sisters living in two different worlds.

She admires my independence. I admire her groundedness.

Things aren’t perfect. And she’s had her struggles. Her frustrations with work, my nephew has had some medical scares with seizures, but she’s had an amazing husband who has stood by her and seems to adore her still.

I had a long talk with my cousin Friday night, and I asked her if I was too independent, too selfish for a real relationship, marriage? Would I be able to subdue my often independent and creative and impatient nature and would my future man accept it?

It seemed like my sister was highly suited for traditional, stereotypical marriage. She didn’t have a rebellious streak in her at all. She did everything she was supposed to and without complaint or grumbling. She was a good kid. She rarely got in trouble or talked back to our parents ever. I had the smart mouth. I would question. I would act a fool in the store.

She would occasionally stand up for herself when necessary, but like myself, she calculates her moments and tends to be non-confrontational unless she has to be.

When I was engaged and preparing for marriage, I was trying to mimic what a good wife was supposed to be– full of self-sacrifice, totally supportive. I put everything into my relationship. However, my creative side was lacking. I was afraid if I didn’t faithfully put a certain amount into the savings account we created together that we agreed upon, I’d be letting down my man, I’d be cheating him and I wouldn’t want him to think I wasn’t pulling my weight. Our accounts and our participation in contributing to them allowed us to live as we pleased without worry. It was smart. I wanted to always be attractive to him, I wanted to be able to do the things he wanted sexually. I thought that was what good wives were supposed to do. The best wives seemed to be the ones who sacrificed the most.

So here I am.

I know myself better than I’ve ever had before. But I worry.

I’ve seen a lot of pain. I’ve seen a lot of selfless acts in my family. I’ve seen people fear and or deny their own pleasure and happiness and wants because they had to take care of someone else out of love and duty.

I don’t want a life like that. I want to feel like I’m being mutually loved, nurtured, protected and taken care of. Love should be freedom. The person you love should make you feel free. Yes, you have a duty to them, but you should feel most like yourself. You should feel free.

The stakes are getting higher and higher for me because I see how quickly life can change how life is filled with joyous moments, but also highly painful ones that require support networks free of judgement, and full of acceptance and love.

It’s strange how I don’t want my man to feel like he has to sacrifice everything for me, but I want to just know, like I know my own name he would if he had to, but because I love him just as much and I’m giving too, he doesn’t have to… Because that’s what you do for love.

You don’t trap people.

You accept them. Even when they change, because they are going to change and grow and you are going to change and grow too.

The goal is to change and grow in a way that benefits the unit.
I think people in relationships are allowed to change and grow.

But the vision for the relationship should always remain the constant. You have to agree to that from day one. Even when children come and when they’ve left the house, even when there is success, even when there is failure.

You both are looking at the same goal.

Sometimes I wonder if I already know this man. I wonder if I have to fall in love again and fail once, twice or even three times, before I’m supposed to be with him. If I’ll be mature enough or worthy enough to be allowed to have the one finally revealed to me.

I wonder If we’ve met before quickly and brushed past each other on a busy street, or we’ve sat and had easy conversations that lasted well into the night, laughs lingering in warm air. I wonder if he’s right around the corner, or living half way across the globe, doing all of the things he’s supposed to be doing so he can find his way to me at the exact, preordained time. I wonder if it will take ten years from now to find or rediscover him.

The timing isn’t up to me.

Who he is, isn’t even up to me.

It is up to me to recognize his voice when I hear him.

His touch when he touches me, his kiss.

To look in his eyes and see him and know.

That kind of love is out there.

I’m sharpening my skills to better identify it.

I’m getting closer.

I was told not to worry. That he’ll find me and love every bit of me. He’ll accept those dark things that occupy my mind that makes me quiet and moody sometimes, and he’ll love me through it. He’ll give me just enough space, but he’ll know exactly when to come in, not say a word kiss me on my head and hold me close.

Everyday, every action, we both are getting pulled closer.

I believe.

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