my fighting strength
Growing up with two older brothers, I was constantly falling victim to their bribes or blackmail schemes. While my parents were at work or elsewhere, my brothers would tediously watch my every move to ensure that I behaved appropriately. If I fell short of their standards, I would be sentenced to the Kyle or Jack prison. This prison, figuratively of course, would require me to do whatever they say. I remember one sentence lasted for months until my parents finally caught on. My brothers had some sort of control over me. It may be safe to assume that because they were older and stronger, I did not want to face their physical aggression. However, I believe my compliance lay with my need to please them. I did not want to disappoint them. I secretly wanted to become a part of their games and learn their devious and mischievous ways. I wanted to take advantage of having two older brothers by being the girl who knew how to throw a curve ball or knew the quarterback of New York Giants.
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No matter how hard I tried to join their group, the gender differences were too great for my acceptance to be ensured.
Throughout middle and elementary school, I was known as the younger sister of Kyle and Jack. My brothers and their friends would pass by me in the hallways and greet me by calling me little Kyle or Jack. For a while, I believed that I was finally being accepted. However, knowing that my position was not secure, I still needed to prove myself. I began to develop a mean punch that demonstrated my hidden strength. I would begin to have an aggressive demeanor. If my brothers frustrated me I would clench my fist and with my utmost strength, hit them in the arm. After it was discovered that I was a tiny girl with a canon for an arm, I clearly proclaimed that I am a force to reckon with. Sometimes, my strength got out of control. There were many instances where I would hit my friends with what I thought to be a “light punch.” The same response followed each time – “Ow! That hurt!” I soon realized that what I considered to be light was not light at all. I needed to be more aware of the effect I could have on people. My physical strength should not only be used to make my brothers fear me or grant me their respect, it should give me the confidence to never stand down. It should propel me to accomplish the even most daunting of tasks. If, I, a small girl, can easily leave discolored marks on the toughest of men, why can’t I leave an everlasting impact on the lives of others?
My physical strength became the power I needed to make a difference. It inspired me to become an independent and free thinker, yearning for the opportunity to make my voice heard. Through action, one can make a change. My arm certainly made many changes, but the most important was the change that occurred from within. I was less concerned with being the girl my brothers’ wanted me to be and more concerned with pleasing myself. Knowing sports statistics or certain athletic moves was not going to give me self satisfaction. Surely, I would surprise my brothers’ once more, but that was meaningless. I wanted to make myself proud beyond the force that lied within my arm. Confidence became the medicine that secured me with a positive outcome. Letting go of my brothers’ overpowering shadows, I was free to be myself. I gravitated towards different activities that would seem unconventional in my family. Instead of salivating over the thought of attending a sporting event, I was more interested in having a good time at a rock concert. I find no enjoyment in sitting down watching a game, when I can be on the floor dancing and singing until my lungs burst. I was confident enough that I didn’t need to be like my brothers to be accepted. I just needed to be content with myself.