My mended relationships

She has dark brown hair with almost inky eyes and a curvy physique.

I have highlighted brown hair, with eyes the color of light roast coffee and an athletic build. Most have said we look like cousins.

We are sisters.

As a child, Lilly played with Bratz as I grew my rock collection and read about sharks.

“They are polar opposites” was how the family described us.

Although we had different interests as children, our relationship was strong – until high school. Lilly started dating someone on the lacrosse team and spent weekends partying with the popular kids. I had two close friends and participated in mock trials during my free time.

As we spent less time together, we grew apart. Fighting over mom’s car and time in the bathroom to get ready for school felt like the only times we’d socialize with each other. As we went to different colleges and came home at different times, we rarely saw one another.

COVID-19 forced us together.

Only communicating with your sibling through fighting is harmful to your future relationship. Someday, your parents will be gone, and your siblings will still be there. Building a healthy foundation now is crucial in order to stay together for life.

Don’t get me wrong: we had some good times during high school – we just didn’t have as many as we should have, because of our contrasting personalities. Our opposite schedules and different interests resulted in us straying from each other. I think siblings not having a common ground, shared interests, and enough time to interact is a recipe for a broken relationship.

The biggest regret I have in life is not being closer to my sister during our teenage years.

COVID-19 changed our relationship. The deadly virus has put life into perspective for many. The thought of losing a family member quickly has made people want to get closer to their family – including annoying siblings who can sometimes be annoying.

We were both stuck at home, away from friends and feeling cut off from the world in quarantine. Trapped at home, we were stuck in the unfortunate situation of having to learn remotely instead of returning to our colleges.

Soon, one joke turned into 10 and before I knew it, we were staying up late debating over Team Stefan or Team Damon.

We laughed at our petty high school drama and decided to work toward a stronger relationship.

I want to let you know there is hope.

If you are not close to your sibling(s) and want to be, let me offer you my biggest piece of advice: reach out.

Even if you are stubborn and don’t want to, be the bigger person.

I started asking Lilly about a show I deemed brainless, “The Vampire Diaries.” Well let’s just say we watched one episode together and now I know every line.

Start with small steps like talking about TV shows and work your way up to going on walks and grabbing food. Also, if you are learning completely remotely and stuck at home – use it to your advantage. Take this time to either mend the relationship you have with a sibling or make it stronger.

Now more than ever, we need to hold our siblings, and of course the rest of our families, closer than ever. Reach out first – it worked for me.

Having a good Netflix show to bond over doesn’t hurt, either!