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  • Writer's pictureAshley Peterson, LPC

*Insert "Sister, Sister" theme song*

Psychology intrigued me because I wanted to know how my sister and I could be so similar yet so different. We are both born in March (she’s a Pisces and I’m an Aries), have the same parents, grew up in the same household and generally were exposed to the same ideas, behaviors and shared experiences. With all those similarities, we often differed in our perceptions (which isn’t abnormal) and how things impacted us. I’ve had numerous convos with my mom about our child rearing and how we were as infants and beyond. We were by her accounts similar, but different.

The way we handle disappointment initially, similar. The way we recover, different. My sister is able to make space for herself, sit in disappointment and feel and acknowledge her feelings. I tend to conceptualize what’s next, giving myself less time to feel and immediately move forward. Maybe she can sit because she knows her way out of those feelings. I tend to keep moving out of fear that I’ll sink if I stop, much like a shark. My point in sharing this isn’t necessarily to make a point at all, but to understand that we all get to be different, and there is never one way that’s best for everyone. We each get to decide what’s best for us, depending on who we are.

When I went into my first psychology class in highschool, I was looking for specific explanations and gained so much more. Life isn’t black and white, it’s all shades of grey. It changes and people create the world they need based on their needs, perceptions and understandings of life and carefully created belief systems. Why are my sister and I different? Because we are supposed to be! We balance each other out, bring chaos and clarity into each other’s lives, provide each other with challenges and support, all because we are different while sharing so much of the same.


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