Today I came to the revelation that I was born to be a cheerleader. No, I don’t mean an actual cheerleader that dances around a sports field with pom-poms, but more of an emotional cheerleader. For my siblings. Pretty much my whole life I’ve been so proud to be associated with my brother and sister, one being a super talented hockey player and the other being the smartest (and prettiest) person I know. I hate to perpetuate gender stereotypes, but in this particular case I think you can guess which one is which. Regardless, I never felt like I had one ‘thing’ of my own growing up; I loved dancing and singing and writing stories, but I never felt like I had one true talent or gift like my siblings did. Although being incredibly smart may not seem like a ‘talent’, it definitely meant that there were multiple avenues she could go down and be wildly successful no matter what. I do consider myself smart, but not the kind of smart that can get into a highly competitive medicine program first try and even then continue to earn unthinkably high grades. I’ve also never been great at sports (shocker), which I think my parents sensed as soon as my feeble body emerged into this world, since they never signed me up for soccer as a tot like most parents do. I did the whole dance thing, but the only sport I ever played was basketball for one season in grade three when I thought I would be a basketball prodigy after shooting hoops in the back alley with my dad. As soon as I was on a real team, my painfully shy and nervous personality made it impossible for me to take charge and be even the slightest bit aggressive. I used to pretend I didn’t know what I was doing when the coach would assign me an opponent to defend during a game because the last thing I wanted to do was to get all up in someone’s space and try to knock the ball away. No, thank you. I will pretend I don’t know how. Defence? What’s that? Oh, that thing we’ve been doing in practice forever?? Hmm, doesn’t ring a bell. I think we can all see why I’m not the athlete of the family now, because it probably was not apparent before.
Back to the point: my siblings. They are so great! All the way through junior high I was exceedingly proud when my gym teachers would notice my last name and ask if I was related to a certain Ryon Moser. I humbly responded that yes, not only were we related, but he actually was made from the same two humans as me and we both spent our first 9 months marinating in the very same womb! I may have worded it slightly differently, but I was over the moon to report that we were not just distantly related, but full-on siblings that share the same genetic makeup (or most of it, or whatever. I’m not the smart one, please remember). I don’t know if this knowledge made my gym teachers like me more or just made them wonder how the hell those parents of ours could create one amazing athlete and one scrawny uncoordinated excuse for a human from the same gene pool. They probably thought I was adopted, and I don’t blame them because I sometimes wonder the same thing! I think in the end, while they were surprised and very clearly disappointed by my lack of athletic ability, they were just a little nicer to me because they knew I was related to greatness. Yes, greatness. Haven’t I mentioned I think very highly of my brother? Or at least of his athletic ability; he is still a real pain in the butt most times.
As for my sister, well, she is not only overly smart, but also the most beautiful of my parents’ creations. Especially back in junior high when my hair was at its frizziest and I had braces trying to work magic on my chipped and crooked teeth. All I wanted was to have long, straight blonde hair, which my sister effortlessly achieved since she was just you know, born that way. Me, I was born with a thin mop of untameable curls that I had to battle with for hours to get the sleek locks I dreamed of, and even then it was never as silky and glossy as my sister’s. She also didn’t need braces because God, or whoever calls the shots during fetus development, picks favourites and I got the short end of pretty much every stick. Or so it seemed back then. So not only was my sister easily raking in A’s in school, she was also the beautiful big sister that no one could believe came from the same gene pool as me. I might be exaggerating a bit… But on second thought, no. I think it was known back then that I had a beautiful sister and a super athletic brother while I was suffering through possibly my most awkward stage of life. In short, I was undeniably the black sheep.
Fast forward to today and I don’t always feel like the black sheep, but I do still admire my siblings more than they probably even know. (Now they do if they’re reading this. Hello siblings!) I genuinely get so excited when people ask about my family because I’m so proud to state that my insanely intelligent sister, one of the smartest people I know, is in vet school and is truly going to be the best vet this world has seen. And that my brother is an amazing athlete that played in the WHL, then played in the CIS, and now is playing professionally in Europe. Gah! They are so flippin’ cool. This also takes the spotlight off me since I don’t have much to show for myself (this is not a pity party please just laugh along with me), but am always so ready to boast about my siblings’ accomplishments. Doesn’t it make me look just a little bit cool and talented and awesome by association? Like, hello, their parents are my parents, too, you know! I came from the exact same everything! I am therefore just as awesome even though I’m not doing any of the awesome things they are doing. It makes me feel lame and on top of the world at the same time.
So with all that said, I think I was born to be their cheerleader! My parents had two wonderful babies full of potential and then thought, ‘hmm, they need someone less great to cheer them on and make them feel good about themselves in comparison.’ That’s when I entered the world! Full-time cheerleader to the rescue! Not only will I make you feel good about yourself when you compare your abundant accomplishments to my lack of them, but I will also be there to verbally remind you how great you are all the time! I think I can be happy with this existence; I think it’s what I was meant to do. Just let me stand on the sidelines and watch them shine! Can I get paid for this position? I need to make a living somehow, guys.
Well, I guess I just wanted to brag about my family for a second. I actually have a ton of cool family members… like, every single person, even in my extended family, is cool in some way and I boast about them whenever the opportunity arises. I also have the most wonderful parents ever and they deserve some credit for, oh, I don’t know, just creating two of the best people in the world (and one runt working towards success with a less favourable genetic makeup. Don’t forget about me, I’m right back here!) All in all, I feel very fortunate to have all these wonderful people related to me, and it is an honour to even share a small percentage of genes with them. Maybe one day it will rub off on me?! Surround yourself with greatness and you will become great yourself? I think someone really wise and smart probably said something like that once, because it surely didn’t come from my measly brain. I just think you should know this really isn’t a pity party. I know my mother would say I am special and wonderful in my own way, and she is right! Just not as special as my siblings OKthankyoubye!
(This is half/mostly/maybe less than half a joke. I’m totally OK with being me and I know I have some talents or whatever, they’re just not as… let’s say… profitable as those of my siblings. OVERALL I am just doing what I do best: trying to be dramatic to be funny. I will rise out of my black sheep-ness one day, just you wait and see! But also I might not because I am an inferior being so don’t hold me to that. And even if I don’t it’s totally ok because I can always fall back on using my siblings’ accomplishments to make me look cool and that is enough for me.)
Your favourite black sheep