Me and My Sister

My sister and I have never been the classic sibling unit – doing things in tandem, playing together outside when we were little – but I love her and have more respect for her than any other member of my family.

We’ve always annoyed each other, in some respect. When we were younger, we weren’t close but we were close enough – we’d playfully beat each other up, scream at each other, and she’d chase me round the house, yelling. I remember this time when she was attempting to play my electric keyboard, I grabbed a tambourine and shrieked at her. That was over a year ago, and there’s a video of it which still makes me laugh.

I’ve always thought that she was pretty awesome, but I didn’t look up to her. She can play the banjo a little, used to yodle, and is such a good artist; she knows when to stop pissing me off even if sometimes, she drives me insane. Over the past 2 years, though, I’ve started to respect her and I’d say that she was the person, in my family, who I trust the most: even more than my dad.

More complicated than you can imagine, she’s got a whole personality that used to be hidden behind a seemingly uncaring exterior. Yes, I know she loves me, but before I didn’t appreciate how much. To show you a little of how she and I work, I’ll share some memories with you.

I came out to her as bi two years ago, after my mum’s not so great reaction,; she was totally fine with it. “Look, I’ve had sex with both guys and girls,” she said frankly to me, and our sexuality has been a point of discussion ever since. My mum is… A tad homophobic, which my sister made me realise. Whenever she says to us, “Remember when you used to be bisexual?” my sister and I laugh about it, like today, until we can’t breathe. Because it’s not funny, but it’s something we both experience so we find humour in it. There’s not much else we can do.

She knows how I act. When I get angry, I can become a bit aggressive (I hate it), but unlike the rest of my family, she knows it’s me getting furious with myself. Over a year ago, I was finding a bit of food difficult to cut up, and she calmly talked me through it without getting furious with me, whilst I cried angry and frustrated tears, and she made me feel like I wasn’t pathetic for it. That was one of the first times where I started to really trust her. She’s known me all my life and in that time, she’s built up a thorough understanding of who I am, including my appearance insecurities, occasional negative attitude towards my mum and all the rest.

In the summer, she travelled a lot: Croatia, Rome and finally Thailand. We joined her there for two weeks, and her transformation was astounding. She smiled, laughed, regailed me with stories of how shitty some of the hotels she’d stayed in were, and all the people she’d met. When our dad and stepmother were out one night, we walked along the streets of Bangkok: listening to the sounds of cars, walking into a shopping centre, wandering into a bar and letting the music wash over us. There, over a table, I told her everything that had been going on. Straight off, she told me what she thought, not judging me: as we walked back, we continued talking and it was so bloody freeing to trust her with it all.

Today, I saw her for the first time in about a month, because she came back from uni on Tuesday. We spoke for about an hour, and I opened up to her about my breakup and how much pain I’m in. Instead of scoffing or telling me I was being childish, she asked me questions and listened, giving me advice and treating me like the 16-year-old I am. It was refreshing, because in our time where we haven’t lived in the same house, I’ve learnt that I missed her so much more than I thought I would.

She’s studying art at uni, and I think that’s wonderful. From what people have said, she’s incredibly talented, and it’s her passion to do something with illustration. I love that. Through it all, she’s stuck with something she loved. Maybe she didn’t get top marks in school but that doesn’t matter because she’s fucking intelligent, and I hate the education system for making her feel like a failure sometimes.

Just now, she came and gave me a hug as she has a habit of doing. I used to be suspicious whenever she did that, or try and push her away, but her going away to uni again in a few days makes me sad. Both she and I aren’t social in the slightest, and we rarely talk abthe deep shit, but when we do it always makes things better because she’s done shitty things and learnt from them.

Yes, there are still things she can’t understand about me, as I have with her. Our thought processes are very different, in the way that we react to certain situations. However, at the end of the day, she’s my sister. They say you can’t choose your family and that’s true, but she’s my sister by both blood and emotion and I’m proud to say it.

From Elm 🙂

Attempts at Defining Art

Hi guys, I’m Maya and I blog over at Artsy Teen. I’m thrilled to be finally collaborating with the amazing Elm, we’ve been planning this for quite awhile!

When Elm suggested to write a post about what art means to each of us, my first thought was, “Wow, that’s such a great idea”. My second thought, which swiftly followed after I’d agreed to write the post, was “What the hell am I going to talk about?”.

You’re probably wondering why someone who claims they’re ‘artsy’ and blogs about different artwork all the time is struggling to write a small post about my opinion of art. Trust me, I’m wondering the same thing and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve never really asked myself the question. What does art mean to me?

Really, Art is such a broad concept. Over the summer I went traveling around Europe and I went to a ton of different art museums and exhibitions. Some of the artwork I really liked, some of it I really didn’t. All the while I was trying to figure out a way to define art. Is it something that’s visually pleasing? Is it something that requires a lot of skill to create? Is it something that’s created to get across a specific meaning?

After much debate, the best definition of art that I can come up with is this: art is how you define something. Have I confused you yet?

OK, let’s take an emotion like happiness, for example. How do you define happiness? Is it something you feel when you see a bar of chocolate? Is it your favorite song? Is it just a word? And how would you express this definition? With a painting, a book, a funny joke? Everyone’s opinions will be different, but personally, I think the uniqueness in each person’s definition is their own version of art.

Elm wrote a beautiful post on my blog talking about the different things that she defined as ‘art’. For me, art is the ability to create something from nothing, to take a vision from your mind and bring it to life. See, there’s nothing I love more than having to come up with ideas and then make those a reality. It’s all about crossing the line between your imagination and real life. Problem-solving, designing, inventing, figuring out how to depict what I’m thinking… that’s the art that I love. The freedom, excitement and uncertainty of creating something, and the satisfaction that comes when you’ve completed it.

Of course, you guys might love completely different aspects of art. You mightn’t agree with my definition at all. You might even dislike art, but I think anyone who feels that way is just following the wrong definition.

How would you define art?

Well that’s all I’ve got for you guys. Before I finish up, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Elm for being a part of my first ever blog collab. She is such an inspiring and talented person to work with! I hope you guys found my rambling attempts at defining art  somewhat interesting, or at any rate, I hope they made you think about your own definition of art.

xox Maya