My little sister is like a mirror image of me. People confuse our names, mix up our baby pictures, and every time someone says “You guys are like twins!” we both secretly glow inside (because we wonder if it’s as much of a compliment to one as it is to the other).
I’ve jumped through the different obstacles of life – in fact, I’ve stumbled or crashed through many of them. So when I look at my little sister, I feel like I already know what’s coming. I want to tell her everything I have learned so she doesn’t have to make the same mistakes I made. I want to grab her before she moves forward and warn her, “Make sure to be careful around that corner” or “Walk down that path – it’s the best route.” In actuality, most times, I begin to say something but don’t, leaving my little sister to demand “What?! What?!”
So here is everything I meant to say when all that came out was “Oh, nevermind.” Here is everything I wanted to tell you, little sis, that I couldn’t find the words to say.
1. No matter how much we are all equally loved, our parents will always be more protective of you as their baby girl compared to our brothers or myself. Don’t be offended, don’t fight it, take it as a compliment.
2. You will feel ugly some days. God forbid a pimple might erupt with a vengeance and a bad hair cut is always perfectly scheduled right before picture day. If you wake up, look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, find a different mirror. Because the way you appear is all about how you view yourself.
3. One day you’ll realize the quantity of friends isn’t what counts, but the quality.
4. Boys can easily become the center of your world – don’t let them. The best boys are the ones you find while working hard on something you’re passionate about.
5. The popular taboo of the “awkward stage” isn’t negative anymore. Don’t be afraid to be awkward, it’s how people know you’re real!
6. Your hair will go through different stages. You may get a lousy haircut, flat iron your ends a little too much, or have seemingly blonde dye turn pink. Don’t panic, it’s just hair and can always be fixed.
7. You may not realize this right away, but your mom is always going to be your best friend.
8. It is 100% okay to stay in on some weekends. It’s so important to have nights alone with cookie dough, girl friends and a good movie.
9. When you start seriously dating, look at how a boy treats his mother and sister. That will reflect upon how he will respond to you.
10. You will make mistakes – you might fail. But the best part of falling is finding something or someone new while you’re getting back up.
12. Yes, you want that last thin mint cookie.
13. It’s okay to talk about yourself. Sometimes it feels that no one wants to hear about what’s going on in your life – but tell your friend about that time you went to the wrong class. Tell someone about the trip you took to Cancun. Don’t ever think your life experiences are trivial.
14. Use your judgement, but not upon others. As confusing as that sounds, you’re going to have to use your conscious to decide if being around someone is good for you personally. But that doesn’t mean you have to degrade who they are. Everyone has a story, appreciate that.
15. It’s completely alright to be sad sometimes for no reason whatsoever. Cry it out, listen to a sad song, then move on to a sunnier day.
16. Strive to laugh every single day.
17. Be extremely careful with what you put online. What you put out there stays forever – make your mark a positive one.
18. If you realize one day that you’re just not happy – go back to the thing that made you the happiest and pursue it.
19. You’re going to be heartbroken. And I won’t lie – it’s going to hurt. But I promise you, it gets better. Find good friends, a good attitude, and you’ll surface stronger than ever.
20. We’re not going to get along all the time. But we’re going to be sisters forever.
It’s hard not to dictate someone’s life when you think you know what is going to happen next. It’s like showing a friend a good movie you really liked. You eagerly tell them, “Wait stop and rewind that again- that’s the best part” or insist “fast forward this scene- trust me you don’t need it.” You’re trying to make someone else view the same film you did, although they may want to see it completely differently.
To all big sisters, understand your little sis is going to need your help. Be there for her, give her guidance, help when she asks and always always have her back. It’s so easy for me to think “Been there, done that”, but there are going to be things she’s been to that I haven’t done, frames I barreled through while she flitted across gracefully. See, we may look the same, but we’re not. We’re completely unique in our own little ways- and that’s beautiful. So that’s why I bite my lip when an occasion arises where I want to shout “No! Do it this way! Do it my way!” Because after all the choices and opportunities she’ll have, she won’t emerge the same young woman I am. Having a little sister is kinda funny; maybe one day she’ll write her own list of advice that she wants me to know.