I’m a middle child. Pointing this out has become a religion over the years, but I think it holds a lot of explanation to the way I synthesize information. I use the statement, “I’m a middle child”, as a preface in conversations for the slapdash answer someone will get when asking for my opinion, on anything. “What do you think about pizza?”, says so-and-so. “Well, I love it of course! It’s delicious and probably my favorite food! But it’s not good for you. And it has gluten. So many people have trouble with gluten. Maybe I have trouble with gluten. It also costs more than it used to and there are way too many choices of where to order from. How would I pick?”, I say, spiraling into perpetual poppycock.
I don’t consider being a middle child a bad station at all. I am pleased as pickles to be surrounded by love and wouldn’t trade my place for anything. The good part of the sandwich is in between the bread, right? I am just taking some time to explore the way it has molded me into who I am.
Let’s take a minute to “unpack” my middle child excuse and how I think it plays a role in my illusive opinions. I think being a middle child has played a profound role in my chronic perpetual poppycock and inability to have only one opinion on a topic. My biggest struggle with having an opinion is I tend to see both sides of every story. I was born between two very confident siblings who preside over me with dubious influence.
I don’t always agree with both sides but I usually empathize with both. My husband calls me a chronic empath. There is truth to that monicker. It just seems like too much responsibility to pick one opinion and plant my flag in it.
My older sister is an enneagram 8. If you clicked on that link, welcome back from the rabbit hole you almost certainly just fell down. SOOOO, much information and its so interesting! If you didn’t click on that link an enneagram is a personality test that puts you into one of 9 categories based on your responses. It’s fascinating to read the definitions and self diagnose. I’ve always enjoyed doing some haphazard google searches to try and figure myself out.
My sister is the coolest. She has always been someone I looked up to, corny as that sounds. She is smart, successful, stylish, stunning…the list goes on an on! She is a total enneagram 8, like they wrote the definition for her and this has made her someone I listen to, a lot. She knows her opinion and can relay it with ease. In fact, challenging her opinion is something I learned to avoid over the years because she is convicted in hers and I’m incapable of defending one.
My younger brother is equally confident in his own mind. He is one of the most loyal people I’ve ever met. He’s had the same friends since he was a toddler. He’s passionate about organization and cleanliness, and religiously follows a routine of eating and working out to keep in shape. He also knows where he stands on most questions when asked. He can explain his answer with the same ease that my sister can. He is prone to rash decisions but also doesn’t mind changing his mind when he realizes his immediate reaction might have not really been his opinion.
These two people stand in direct contrast to me. I don’t mean to represent myself as a victim by any means. I’m only a victim of my inability to have one singular opinion. The middle child role has taught me to always look in both directions for information. There are two sides to every coin. I think the middle child upbringing, in combination with my perpetual poppycock, has magnified my inability to form opinions but that is exactly why I’m here.
My reason for this blog is try to examine the current way I live and look for ways that I can improve. Having an opinion is something I’d like to work on. It would serve me to be able to answer questions clearly instead of getting stuck in an endless loop of second guessing myself. Breaking the cycle is going to be rewarding work.