Gender & Identity, Life

Being a single child has defined the person that I have grown up to be

I’ve just learned to be my own best friend somewhere along the way.

Being a single child is one hell of an adventure. It involves innumerable ups and downs and is filled to the brim with so much of learning and unlearning every step of the way. As a single child, I’ve been the youngest, eldest, and middle child all at once.

I’ve always noticed that there’s a stark difference in the way people who have siblings behave in relation to me and my fellow single kids. We’re not as comfortable sharing the people in our lives or our space. I’ve seen this in myself so much so that I feel like it might come across as selfish at times (and it probably is, too). I just cannot, for the life of me, share anything – from material things to anything immaterial.

It probably stems from the fact that growing up, everything I’ve ever owned has been all mine, and there was no second person to share it with. So the habit of sharing was always limited to the school scenario, where I’d have to share a pencil or pen, for a limited period of time, knowing I’d get it back eventually.

Other than that, sharing didn’t exist in my dictionary.

On the same vein, I’ve never been comfortable with sleepovers – no matter what. I’ve tried so hard to become okay with them but the thought of sharing my personal space at night, which has otherwise always been exclusive for me, just never sat well with me – and still doesn’t.

It’s too invasive a process for me and I can’t be okay with it, no matter what.

I’ve seen that people with siblings never seem to have a problem with sleepovers or anything of that sort because they’ve been sharing their personal space for their whole lives.

I love my own company – and fiercely so too. I cannot imagine not spending time alone and having an absolute blast. And this isn’t something a lot of people can often relate to, but having grown up without any siblings, I’ve just learned to be my own best friend somewhere along the way.

This experience hasn’t come without its own set of cons though. Being a single child can get lonely at times. Because life isn’t perfect, and we all struggle at some point or another – not having someone to share all the struggles and pain with, can feel isolating.

A lot of times the insecurities have piled up inside of me and found unhealthy outlets because I’ve felt unsure of how to deal with things when they got too overwhelming. There’s also this constant FOMO that used to haunt me as a kid and a teenager when I used to see my friends with their siblings. It wasn’t easy because I felt like I’d never get to experience anything like that for myself.

Thankfully, I have since recognized that I did have a wholesome experience growing up.

I guess after a point I just realized that I had to make experiences happen with what I’ve got and make the best of it all. And so I did. Being a single child has made me into a strong and confident young woman who isn’t afraid to be herself because she’s used to being there for herself even when nobody else is.

I feel like growing up a single child is the reason I am everything that I am today, and it’s been quite the journey in itself. And it’s one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed too.