This I Believe

Kelly - Long Valley, New Jersey
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

Have you ever found yourself as an extended family holiday party asking how you are related to these people? I have. My dad is one of 12 children so our holiday parties were never small. It took me until my 10th birthday to tell all my aunts apart. At these parties I usually would find myself hanging around one of my brothers or sisters, typically my twin brother.

I’ve often considered myself lucky to have many siblings. I am sure my childhood memories are just as happy and absurd as anyone else’s but I believe it is the variety of characters in my life that have had the most influence on me.

When I returned home for winter break I was surprised to see my twin brother laying around the house waiting for my arrival. Growing up, I never had the issue of coming home to an empty house or being bored and alone until my parent got back from work I always had my brother to hang out with. My brother and I haven’t always been friends, bitter rivals instead. I am confident in saying that I annoyed him when we were young, and I still annoy him to this day.

Having a twin brother created a constant opponent for me. Everything turned into a competition. Who learned how to crawl first…one point Kelly. Who could walk first…one point Patrick….Who lettered in their first varsity sport….Kelly. Who got into college first…Patrick. For this I believe I’ve become a competitor by nature.

Despite our rivalry over the years, my brother and I created an alliance when it came to our parents. Patrick would always take the bigger fall, as long as I was willing to cover up for him. I’ve been the late night phone call to pick him up from the police station and he has allowed for me to remain innocent in my parents’ eyes. Many times growing up I resented him but I would not have had it any other way.

This past September my eldest sister got married. My childhood playmates, my siblings had grown up, and so have I. Her friends from high school, college and work were there. My parents’ friends from high school, college and work were there. But most importantly we, the siblings were there.

So many times in college you hear its all about networking. That it’s all about who you know. And though some of us, like myself may feel as if our professional network is meager, we have the network of family that will take us to were we need to be. This I believe is why that it is family that defines who you were who you are and that will help you become who you will be.