For those of you that dont know, Chuckle is my younger 23 year old sister. I like to say that she is the rebel of our family. The one that doesnt really conform to what is expected of her. And the one that does whatever she damn well pleases.
Without a doubt though, she is the apple of my niece, Sue's, eye and is just as equally adored by my nephew, Billy. Once asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, Sue said, "I want to be a nurse like Khala (Aunt)" and Billy said "I want to be Khala."
Not too long ago, Chuckle and I would wake up in the morning together, get ready for work together, and leave the house together. She would don her stethoscope and I would wear my school lanyard. Her ID badge said "RN" while mine said "1st grade teacher."
If you met my sister in college, and got to know her, then you would have known that she always, always, always had her nose in books. She was constantly studying and memorizing notes and stuff for class. She would frequently isolate herself from the outside world and campus and basically lived in the the second floor study area of the really creepy library on campus. Although teased many times for living there, she wouldn't relent in her studies and worked her posterior off to get into Nursing School and finish her degree in Nursing.
The thing is, she wasn't always like that. When my sister began junior high she vowed to herself that she would drop out of school when she was in 10th grade. At that time, the legal age for a student to drop out of school was 16. So she made it her goal, and made it well known (even told my parents) that at the age of 16, she would leave it all behind and just sit at home. Now, obviously my parents wouldn't let her do such a thing. But her attitude towards school was very dismal and she didn't care much for it. She loathed it. She hated her peers. Argued with her teachers. And her grades weren't exactly up to par as they should have been. There were times in junior high when she would ask to go to the restroom during PE (Physical Education) and walk straight out of the doors and go home, claiming that it was a half day. Sometimes she wouldn't even ask to go to the restroom but during transition breaks between classes she would leave the building, and go to the nearby Rite-Aid. Or she would just roam the streets. Sometimes with friends. But mostly by herself. (I would like to tell you what I think was the contributing factor to this, but I rather not open up that can of worms.) The school truancy director had to get in touch with my dad and speak to him about the frequent absences that were occurring. I was so scared the day that he found this out. I was scared for her life.
Tenth grade did eventually roll around, but there was no dropping out for her. She continued high school. Took some college courses while in high school. Finished high school. And enrolled in college. Alhamdulilah. I like to think what changed her mind was the influence of her friends, me and my older sister, and strong prayers my parents made on her behalf. But I really cant say that even she knows what changed her mind. Regardless of what it was that got her out of that phase, thank God Almighty, that she got out of it.
Sometimes I look at her and chuckle (no pun intended) to myself at how far she's come from where she was. When she began college, my dad made it very clear to each of us (his daughters particularly) that he wanted us to pursue a degree in education. My older sister did it. I was, at the time, on the road towards it as well. Clearly she didn't take that route though. Teaching wasn't her "thing". But in my personal opinion, I think she would have rocked as a teacher. She is so good with kids! mashaAllah!
Currently she is working the midnight shift at the hospital and it's not exactly how she envisioned the world of Nursing. It's a struggle for her and she vocalizes frequently how much she wants to quit and become a "housewife". But just as the dropout phase went away, I have full faith that this too shall pass. God willing.