A strange experience happened to me tonight. I was watching an old sitcom – Happy Days – one of my favourites from my youth – and the episode was about Joanie running away because she was tired of being “Richie’s little sister”. She spoke in detail about how it made her feel growing up with an older brother who everyone knew, and all she wanted to be known as was Joanie – not Richie’s sister – and she felt the only way that was going to happen was for her to move.
I became very emotional watching this tonight. I always liked all the episodes when I was younger but they were fun and didn’t really have any meaning to me at the time. But re-watching it tonight hit home. I was always “Kathy’s little sister” or “oh you’re Darren’s sister”. I honestly don’t remember many people growing up actually calling me by my name, except for my friends. Maybe this is why I was so shy until college. Even in high school – the teachers would say – oh you’re Kathy’s sister – I hope you listen better than her! I hated being compared to my siblings and I know now that my resentment towards them stems from this. And it’s not even resentment – I don’t really know what the word is that I feel, I just know that it made me feel awful and invisible.
Funny thing – whenever I would be asked as an adult, as a joke or whatever, what super power I wanted, I always said I wanted to be invisible. Weird how I felt that way for so long that I wanted to continue that with a super power.
I know now that, once I moved to Toronto and onward with my life, that I was held back for those impressionable teenage years because I thought everyone was either comparing me to my siblings or that people recognized them more than me. Would I want to go back in time and change this? No. I wouldn’t be the strong person I am today if it wasn’t for going through the mental turmoil I did as a teenager. I have grown from feeling that way, and matured.
My thought for the day is – sometimes watching old shows, or even listening to music, can bring back memories and show you a new perspective on how you turned out and why. It was emotional tonight – but it was a good emotional moment.