I once read that the first child in a family is either artistic or academic. The second child is the opposite of whatever the first child is. While my elder sibling was shining academically, enjoying all the privileges, and getting love from every possible member. I was the jack of all trades, master of none, left to survive on my own.
I also heard that the first child is for parents as they wish to enjoy the blessing of a child. And then the second child comes because the first child needs company. That’s what pretty much happened to me. I was brought into this world so that the first child doesn’t feel lonely.
Growing-up I remember taking care of myself until I was sick enough to get up from bed. I washed my uniform, ironed, and dressed for school. Every morning, I woke up on my own and acted as an alarm for my parents. I learned reading and writing by myself and had the intelligence to finish my homework in school. In third grade, I was proud of winning a piggy bank as a first prize in school which motivated me to learn the power of saving. I planned my finances and bought dresses for myself. As an eight-year-old, I hardly got the craving for ice cream or chocolate, but I bought a set of gold earrings.
Probably all the efforts aimed at gaining recognition and proving the theory of a second child wrong. I wanted to show that I matter. And I hold my identity and my brain. I was bent to announce to everyone that even when I am left to survive, I am pretty good at that.
I cooked, washed clothes, and cleaned the house. I was proud of my physical strength and my ability to be the jack of all trades. Give me a job, and I would perform. In changing the perception of being a second child, how and when I became a reference point for my cousins, I didn’t realise.
While I was on my mission somehow, I was set on a pedestal for them to catch. Now they were expected to achieve the glory of my level. Little did anyone realise that while carving my identity, I was struggling too. In the whole thing of being better and comparisons, the message I matter diminishes.
You see, this is a pattern I find till now. I was doing all that to gain acceptance of being a child wanted in this world. I wanted to be loved, hugged, and felt special. And not take away the meaning of the existence of other kids. I wanted to be seen as a child with her uniqueness without becoming a reason for comparison.
Working in a school, I can see kids, even today, struggling with self-esteem and self-acceptance. They are being someone else and forming an identity far from their own. They are looking for external acknowledgement without gaining self-approval.
We still fail to understand that comparison nullifies compassion.
I am happy being the jack of all trades and master of none. It taught me flexibility and adaptability. This trait allowed me to enjoy multiple passions and create different sources of income.
But, that’s me.
And I think you should just be the way you are.
Because no one knows better than you who you are.
About A New You:
We all deserve to have everything in our life exactly the way we want it.The first step begins with believing that every moment is bringing an opportunity to be a new you. As a founder, I provide tools to elevate all dimensions of your life and I teach you the art of writing to reach to your true potential.
Vandana Sehgal | Founder – A New You