News From The Sibling
March 3, 2011 5 Comments
My sister has been pretty unhappy recently. Not having a car, not having a job, not knowing anyone here in Kansas (aside from me), and being so far from her BF has made her depressed. She spends a lot of time by herself in the apartment, simply because there are no other options.
I can’t say that I blame her. This was exactly the predicament I found myself in before I moved to Kansas. I had no friends, I couldn’t stand my co-workers, I just went home every night and read PF blogs and did serial “dating” of mean-nothing guys. I didn’t even have a good friend to talk to like she has with her boyfriend. My close friends I didn’t even talk to more than 1-2 times per month. Getting out of that situation was the best decision I’ve made by far.
That said, while I can understand and sympathize with situation living with me, there are very important differences.
1. When I moved to my previous location, I knew it was temporary so I intentionally didn’t reach out to people. I felt “what’s the point” since I know that in 2 years I’d have to live. Having made that decision I’ve been exceptionally clear with my sister that this was a TERRIBLE decision on my part. She’s started to reach out more, by joining a board game club on campus as well as a pre-pharmacy club.
2. I didn’t have any family. She does have me here. So she isn’t alone.
3. I didn’t have such a strong relationship with anyone else to fall back on like she has. She has her BF, her parents, and myself. All whom she can rely on daily.
4. Staying here has the added perk of her living rent free and getting free tuition. Leaving would force her to forfeit these two luxuries.
We had a long conversation today which we both needed about how she was feeling and I asked her what I could do to help.
Things she wanted from me:
- Practice driving. I’ve been postponing this because I drive a standard and I’ve never had to teach anyone how to drive a standard. The thought scares me. So she’s only driven once she’s been here and it was in BF’s old car.
- Sister date night. We’ve agreed that Friday night will be our night. We’ll go out, have fun, get both of us out of the apartment. This past Friday we went to a ladies craft night (which subsequently turned into a Saturday craft day). Next Friday we’re going to a game night. Other events we’re thinking of are going to the movies, laser tag, etc.
- Roommate dinner. I also agreed that we needed a chance to just sit and talk about our weeks. So I’m going to take her to dinner once a week or make dinner together once a week together. We’re thinking about either Monday or Tuesday night.
I’ve also been encouraging her to make plans on Sundays with her friend that lives in Kansas City (the complete other side, about 30 minutes away). It is inconvenient to take her over there, but it is worth it to have my sister hang out with friends.
So that’s how things have been going. I want to help her get connected here. Plugged in. I know if she’s even moderately happy with her life here, it will make the decision to leave harder for her. Which is what I want. I want her to want to stay here because she realizes it is a good decision for her. Support from her family (my dad is moving out in April), free tuition, friends she can hang out with, us doing things together, a place to live rent free, and hopefully she’ll get a job – though she’s starting to feel very put out about actually finding one. The few places she’s applied at haven’t contacted her back or aren’t hiring. She hasn’t quite figured out that persistence is everything.