I’m an oldest child–I’m the eldest of four. I’m the typical first born in so many ways. I’m organized, goal oriented and something of a go-getter. When I know what I want, I’m willing to work for it. (That may explain my master’s degree and the $25,000 debt that accompanied it.)
My siblings also fit their expected psychological birth order. Cristin, as the second child, is an attention grabber. Never content to stand in someone’s shadow, she’s willing to leave college and move thousands of miles to chase her dreams. (And I admire her for it.)
Cheryl’s got middle child syndrome. Heaven forbid anyone compare her to us–she’s going to carve her own Cheryl-sized niche in the world. Forget cheerleading. She’ll play flag football. The worst trouble I ever got into was detention for tardiness. She compensated by scroing a few arrests. (Okay, there’s more to it than that–but I’m confident that it was a factor in her rebellion.) She’s creative, funky and truly one of a kind. (And as with Cristin, I admire these qualities in her. Well, besides the arrest thing.)
Chad’s not just another case–he’s another world. Chad land is populated with legos, anime and Hatchemon (his own Pokemon-esque creation). He can tell you every minute detail of whatever TV series is his current obsession, and he knows all the cheat codes for the best video games. He produces his own cartoon movies on his desktop and no doubt will soon be composing their scores on his keyboard.
Sometimes I feel like the boring sibling in comparison. I’m not sure I have a place to call my own. I’m into the journalism thing, but all of my siblings can write. But I can’t act like Cristin, draw like Cheryl, and I’m not Chad. I used to be the “religious” one, till most of the family went and got God. (It’s a distinction I’m glad to share, mind you.) Still I wonder, where is my place? What’s special about me?
I like to think I’m the quietly interesting one (and yes, in my family I am the quiet one), but I’m not sure what that means. I’m sensitive, and I’ve been told that makes me a good friend. I’ve become pretty good at recommending music to others (thouch Cheryl’s still the one whose taste would be considered “cool”). I have the best shoes, but I’m not sure that’s how I want to be described.
Maybe I’m the most vanilla–the boring one. I’ve got the standard college education, I go to church on Sundays, I drive a sedan. I’m “most likely to have a picket fence.” But I don’t think that’s it. I don’t think I’m dull. I’m passionate, I’m a reader, I’m a feeler, I’m thoughtful.
Maybe I’m just the most nuanced. You can pick out these qualities about my siblings almost immediately upon meeting them, but it might take a little longer to find what makes me CJ. (That’s not to say that my siblings are simple personalities. They’re not. But it’s pretty obvious that Cristin is the resident drama queen!)
But I’m still the oldest, so what I say goes. So most nuanced it is, whether you believe it or not.