My brother and I have always had trouble getting along - the typical story of many a pair of siblings. When he was very little (and I not much older), I would dictate the games, decide on the characters, and in essence boss him around so much that to this day, he expects that of me. My behavior as a child has definitely shaped our current relationship in a negative way, but over the past year, we have become so much closer than we’ve ever been, with the help of something that’s been in our lives as long as we can remember: music.
My brother is a pianist, with perfect pitch and an incredible memory for notes, though his grasp on theory and sight reading is not so strong. I am the exact opposite - with firm technique and fluent note reading, my difficulty in transposition is not such a problem. When we play together, we fill in each other’s gaps, and the music transforms us into a team that works brilliantly. From 70s rock music to musicals to Mozart, we can play anything and everything, as long as we tackle it together. Whether he’s accompanying my vocals or we’re duetting on violin and keyboard, the power of song brings us together.
When we’re in the studio, we can tell each other anything. And once we leave, that camaraderie doesn’t fade. This relationship that I previously thought to be irreparable is turning into something magical with every visit to the music room, and I’m gaining the brother I always wanted - and becoming the person that deserves this special relationship with him. Though still somewhat fragile, I now have the kind of close friend that can only be a sibling. And I’ve earned it through music.
The best part of my story is that there are so many more just like it - whether it’s sisters bonding over a shared fashion blog or a father and daughter strengthening their relationship through their mutual love of photography. Family friendship is incredibly important and absolutely irreplaceable - nobody is capable of knowing, understanding, and forgiving you the way family can.
I wish you all the best.
Annika (aka Niki) Cleland-Hura is the stylist, writer, and photographer behind Nothing Short Of Chic, a personal style/personal expression platform for the intellectual and classy yet fashion-forward fashion-lovers. Her goal is to show people that fashion is more than a frivolous pastime - that it’s a form of expressing your personality and becoming your most confident self.