Camille details her relationship with her siblings and the importance that they play in her life and how they have helped her get through her toughest challenges.
Growing up I went through a lot within my family, through so much of it I felt this large sense of loneliness and this feeling of having to do everything myself and always being alone. But then I realized I have the three most important people in my life standing right next to me the whole time.
I have three siblings, who are very close to me in age. My oldest sister's name is Bella, she is currently 23 and she lives in the UK. My youngest sister's name is Josie, she is 20 and she is a sophomore here at UMass Amherst. Then I have a younger brother who is 17, he is a senior in high school. I think having siblings in my life has totally transformed who I am as a person. I think they are the best part of my life.
Our parents got divorced which felt like my whole childhood, it felt like this ongoing struggle and battle in my life. So many times, I tried to shield my siblings from it, even though I wasn't the oldest child it always felt like my role in life for some reason. I spent so much time just fighting against things that were just expected to happen, that I feel like I almost lost a part of myself, and it made me have this overwhelming sense of loneliness. I think that has really impacted who I am as a person, and I also think it has led me to be the person I am and to always feel the need to help others or to empathize with other people.
Interviewer: “I just so love hearing you talk about your siblings and your relationship with them and somehow there has to be natural sibling rivalry, but you guys do not let that get in the way.”
Sibling rivalry thing, I don't know if this is a common theme of siblings but for us it was a lot worse when we were children. I felt like we were all on an equal playing field. I feel like as I have grown up, one of the reasons I first told myself I wouldn't be a doctor was because my older sister is one of the most intelligent people I've ever met in my life. I will commend her for that till the day she dies, she is one of my biggest inspirations in my life, and I feel like the reason why I try too hard to be a better person all around and better at school and better opportunity to connect with people is because of the way my older sister conducts herself. She is like that one person I will always reach out to for advice, we still have our daily phone calls.
There was never a said rivalry between us, but I think her being so smart has always not necessarily weighed on me, but it has always been that factor that she is so smart, how can I be so smart… But I think over time I realized that there could be a million smart people in the world. And I think that's one of the reasons me and my siblings get along so well is because I think we each bring our own thing to the table. Even Thanksgiving dinner if we are not all there, something is missing. Separately we each have our own personality, our own ball of energy. As though they're so different from each other, I also feel like they're so similar. People always tell us “Have you guys realized you have the same exact mannerisms?” Like I guess we make the same motions with our hands when we speak. Every time I am with one of my siblings it is like wow you guys are identical. It's funny because I have red hair, my older sister has brunette hair, and my younger sister has blonde hair, so we are not identical in any way shape or form. But sometimes people really can't tell us apart from our mannerisms and the things we say. I think that is so true for us because even though I get to see my older sister two/three times a year now. I still am adapting to things she says, her mannerisms. My younger sister is adapting to both of ours and I just think it's so funny to watch us interact. Even if I do not get to talk to my siblings every day, they are still the biggest part of my life, and it shows in so many more ways than one.
They are one thing in my life that makes me feel like it's possible to beat loneliness. Because I remember at any point in my life, even in high school, my loneliest moments, the moments when I was the saddest, like when your first boyfriend breaks up with you, I remember the first thing I think about is always like at least I always have them. They will never leave me. That really means more than the world, is that I can make the biggest mistake and no matter what I do in my life I will always have them.
It is the best feeling.