Tabitha Rollins, Lena Kaligaris, Bridget Vreeland, and Carmen Lowell.
If four bells just rang loud and clear for you, then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that I always thought I was a Tibby.
Creative, determined, and oh-so unique, Tibby Rollins is one of four fierce characters featured in Ann Brashares five part book series kicking off with the much beloved The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Tibby views her life as an unfortunate marriage of small-town boredom and big-city dreams, and as a teen I too stuck cameras in my friends’ faces between working retail hours and sliding by in school. All I wanted was to run away to NYC and take on the world with a script in one hand and suitcase in the other. And to me, this was the plan. No backup in sight.
Although Tibby was fortunate and talented enough to do just that, her story doesn’t end with her name in lights, either. So, in some ways, maybe I am still a tad-bit-Tibby. I will always love her strength, her confidence, and her love for the people that mattered most in her life. But as I’ve matured and experienced the twists and turns of adulthood, my similarities seem to tip more towards Carmabelle, who funnily enough does become semi-successful in The Big Apple. Carmen Lowell experiences unfortunate and life-changing family drama, personal issues with self-love and acceptance, a huge shift in her career goals and dreams, and an eagerness to keep her friendships strong throughout all of this. Maybe we’re all a little-bit of Carmen at some point in our lives.
In truth, maybe we’re all a little bit of each of the ladies of the Sisterhood.
Tibby, the rebellious creative.
Lena, the introverted, wise-for-her-years beauty.
Bridget, the free-spirited confidant.
And Carmen, the feeler and thinker, always trying to figure out where it is that she belongs.
Ann Brashares beautifully crafted the perfect set of personalities for young women to relate with and observe as they survived young-adulthood together. She gave us characters to grow alongside, learn from, and look up to during what is known to be a most difficult stage of life.
When you think you’re a Tibby, you’re probably right, but I’d bet that you have a bit of Lena, Carmen, and Bridget within you as well.
And let’s hope that at the end of the day, we’re all Bailey Graffman, seeing the world through a lens of total acceptance and endless curiosity.