So recently, I have found myself in a very new position of being someone that is considered a role model. Mind you, I say recently... I guess that people have always seen me as someone they can talk to, and I have often found myself giving advice to people, sometimes on topics that I'm definitely not qualified to give advice on. However, I have never quite felt the weight of responsibility that comes with being someone that people look up to until now. And oh boy, have I felt it. It's actually taken me very by surprise and even overwhelmed me to some extent. In this time though, it has made me reflect on what is it that makes me a person that someone can look up to, but also, what are the qualities that my role models have, that causes me to categorise them as such.
Obviously, I know I'm not perfect, as nobody is, but I seem to be so much more conscious of it, because right now I'm trying so hard to be someone worthy of having that title of "big sister". I'm trying so hard to hide when I'm hurting, and to try and keep up a brave face so that I can be this strong, resilient figure to aspire to. Although, looking back, this is something I've always done. I can be in the worst place possible, and I'll still be there spending my time trying to make sure that everyone else around me is okay and that nobody is hurting. Alex shared a quote from Robin Williams in a previous blog post of hers, and it is so unbelievably true. Something I have often said over the last few years, and something that comes to mind again as I discuss this topic is this: the broken always console the broken, whilst the happy walk past oblivious. Maybe it's because if you are also broken, you have a stronger sense of duty to help others in pain, or just because you can empathise; either way it does seem to be true. It then raises the question, well then why are you striving for perfection? Are any of the people that you look up to, anywhere close?
The truth is the role of 'big sister' actually does allow room for mistakes. I have two older sister figures in my life, and one older brother, all 3 of whom I love and admire, and certainly look up to. However, not one of them is perfect. My brother has a ridiculous temper, one of my sisters has made some big mistakes, the other has had a past of going out a little bit too much- but none of that changes the fact that they are some of my heroes. In fact, it is their weaknesses that highlight their strengths to me, and that is why I admire them so much. It is their response in the face of adversity, and their acceptance that they aren't perfect that shows me how great they are, and makes them so inspirational to me.
So this is what i need to do I guess: I need to learn to become comfortable in who I am, including my weaknesses, and be that person wholly and happily. If people choose to look up to me, I accept that, and although I understand that with great power does come great responsibility, and I do have a duty to be there for that person- that doesn't mean being perfect. It does just mean being there, and it means being me; because they clearly see a light in me that maybe I don't even see. They've chosen to entrust me with that title of role model or inspiration or whatever it is they choose to frame me as, and I should just take that as an honour rather than a burden; because that's exactly what it is.