The youngest sibling of any family is often classified as the most selfish and the most needy. The youngest sibling needs to constantly be given attention and be told that he/she/they matters. And therefore, the youngest sibling is the absolute fucking worst. However, when growing up, the youngest sibling subsequently has the least amount of skill. Simply because, well, they haven’t lived as long. (Duh.)
I am the youngest sibling. I am the most selfish. I am the most needy. I need to be told why I matter and validate myself constantly. It’s certainly not my proudest quality. But I think recognizing it is the first step of the 12-step “How Not To Be an Asshole” process. And Step 2 is recognizing the people around you who challenge you to be the best version of yourself. And lucky for me, I don’t have to stretch too far to find those people. Because for me, we’re connected by blood. #bloodbrothers
My two older sisters, Mary Jo and Lea, are real life Sandra Bullocks in Miss Congeniality. They’re undercover FBI agents who enter a beauty pageant to catch a national threat suspect, whilst making amazing female friends, smacking Benjamin Bratt, and kicking Russian ass in the meantime (#relevantmuch?).
Jk they are none of those things technically. But they emulate that very description. Lemme break it down.
Mary Jo is the oldest. She is 30-years-old and has accomplished more than any 30-year-old who has ever existed. (Except maybe Jesus Christ, but he had a bit of a leg up.) She graduated from Northwestern, worked for Teach for America for two years, got a graduate degree at Harvard, and now works for an educational start-up company in San Francisco. And with all that, she’s also completed either 2 or 12 marathons, 1,013 half marathons, and storyboarded an amazing kid’s science YouTube concept that would make Bill Nye pee his pants. And because she’s done all that, she was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2015.
Lea is the middle sister. She’s 26-years-old and is the baddest bitch I know. She was the most popular personality in our high school theatre days, and I truly could never understand how anyone could be as self-assured and confident as her. She also had a high school boyfriend which was something I was never-ever-ever close to getting. She got a vocal performance degree from Boston University, became probs the most #subtlyfamous bartender in the Boston industry scene, and then did one of the hardest things anyone could do. She realized she wasn’t happy and made a huge change. She moved to LA, and she’s about to get a graduate degree in acting from UCLA. Without even graduating, she’s already worked with the mos def notable director in mofo history.
Suffice it to say, my sisters are the Eliza and Angelica Schuyler to my #AndPeggy. Even though you only see me in that one number, I love being Peggy because I get to watch my older sisters give double birds to the patriarchy and carry out Beyoncé’s anthem, proving the world is truly run by girls. (But then I also get to come back as Maria Reynolds and riff for years. So who’s laughing now?)
I know so many kids who don’t have good relationships with their siblings. And whenever I hear that, it always makes me a little sad. I know we don’t get to choose our family and bla, bla, bla. But there will never again be anyone who understands the beginnings of what makes you so fucked up (I mean, beautiful), besides your siblings. Think about it. Only you guys know what it was like when Dad’s car broke down in the middle of bum-fuck-nowhere, IN, and he cried when his 2004 Nokia flip phone died unexpectedly.
I super lucked out because both of my older siblings continue to do things that are seemingly impossible, and then make me look like an asshole. So I’m forced to do things, like try and shit. And sometimes when I try and shit, I’ve been able to do cool things too. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach high goals that I’ve set for myself. However, I’ll always feel pressure and drive to keep trying because these two angelic dumb-dumbs have also never stopped trying. And look at them now. Mary Jo can do laundry on her own, and Lea can almost go through a year without a parking ticket.
My sisters are not perfect. But they’re as perfect as not perfect people can be. And they do such cool shit all the time, that anything that doesn’t seem perfect is hidden in the shadows of their perfection. So Mary Jo and Lea, thanks for being perfect for me and doing cool things. Without you, I probably would never have tried.