There is a quote that I think hangs in ninety percent of all little girls' bathrooms that says something along the lines of "sisters by blood, best friends by choice." And it is so cheesy, so cliche, and terribly overused, but it is true. I don't know two people who know me better than my two little sisters, and there's not a thing I would trade for them and the relationship we have. I can't tell you how blessed I feel that I have them in my life.
Right now, they're about three hours away from me, growing up and becoming little ladies and I am so far away from them. This has been the hardest thing in the world for me, being so far away and not joining them on this journey. So, I think this is something along the lines of a "don’t ever forget me" letter. Also, an advie letter, from your big sis, who’s been through hell and back, and knows a thing or two about all things high school and how to survive it.
Some of these things I have already told you, some of them during our car rides, others I think were probably spoken through the silence, and others I hope are new, but all of them I truly hope you both take to heart.
1. It goes by so fast.
I cannot believe that I’m in college. I can't believe that I have already lived on my own for six months, away from you two. I can’t believe that it was already like four and a half years ago when I was a freshman and I was sitting in the gym on the first day of school at Fenwick. Anyways time. Time changes. Time changes people. Time will change you. Don’t give up on timing.
2. God has a plan for you.
I have learned that steadily over time. I wish I trusted that more when I was younger, instead of trying to figure it out for myself. I urge you to remember the phrase let go and let God. Granted, not in the case of a test going in blind without studying, but if you feel as though you have pressed yourself and learned what you can learn do not stress yourself out. You are capable and you are smarter than so many people out there. Do not give up on Him. Read the Bible, pray the rosary, live for Him.
3. Believe in yourself.
You are the only you there is and you are beautiful. If you ever need to be reminded of that, don’t hesitate to call me.
4. You are so much more than Erika’s little sister.
Granted, you can always use that as an excuse or a building block. the two of you are the most beautiful girls I know, and you can do anything that you want. I love all of the things you stand for, all of your passions, your immense care for everyone and everything. And I am forever proud to be your big sister. I'm learning to love being called Emily & Ellie's Big Sister.
5. Learn from your friends.
I learned that I tended to join the flow of things. Sophomore year, I had a different group of friends, they were the best and the worst of things for me. At the time, they were my best friends and I am recognizing now, that I did need them. But from them, I learned who I was and who I didn’t want to be. You both have already had your share of friend drama and I hate saying that there is more to come, but I know there will be. Keep your head up, you are better than that.
6. Mom and Dad really do want what’s best for you.
Even when it definitely doesn’t seem like it. Being away from them has really shown me that. Unfortunately, you still have a few years, but just trust me. Take what they say with a grain of salt and remember that they are trying to help. Mom and I are closer than we have ever been after being up here. They will do anything they can to help you succeed. I promise.
7. Having a few close friends is so much more important than trying to be friends with everyone.
Everyone is not going to like you and that is OK. more than okay really. Cherish the few who make you happy, the people who make you, you. Those are the people who are going to make you happy. At times you will feel very alone, everyone does. Don't let it get you down, take that time to focus on yourself and make yourself better for the next person who comes into your life.
8. Be there for each other.
I wish I could be there closer to you all to see you grow up. I miss you so much. It makes my heart hurt knowing you are so far away from me, but it also gives me so much joy that you have the opportunity to foster your relationship. Do it for me. I know you can get on each others' nerves sometimes but you’ll realize, in time, how incredible of a relationship and family dynamic we have. We are so blessed. Don’t take it for granted.
9. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I have learned so much about myself through PLA and if there is one thing I wish I could’ve told myself, it is that. The world is longing to help you. So ask for it. The opportunities that are out there are actually endless. It's scary, haha. I’m always here. Ask dad. He's full of insight. Ask papaw (either of them). Ask your teachers, Mrs. Horn, Shayne, literally anyone.
10. Do what makes YOU happy.
If that means you take a year to travel or do service after high school, do it. There are so many things looking back that I did, sacrificing my own happiness in order to please other people. To an extent, and depending on the person, compromise is okay. But make sure that you aren’t going 90% and they’re only going 10%. You are your own biggest fan, so do you, and do it well.
11. Don't forget the little things.
Life isn't easy. It isn’t sunshine and daisies and Granny's warm everything cookies. But those things are there and they are good. Don’t ever forget to thank God for the little things, for the sunsets that make you stop in your tracks, for the moments surrounded by your friends, all laughing at something seemingly silly, and especially for warm everything cookies. Always warm everything cookies. I think that you of all people understand the importance of the little things, and I am so thankful that you are aware of that. Jesus blesses us through the seemingly unimportant things, which leads me to my next point- some of the biggest blessings aren’t things, they’re people.
S.P.P. That I'll always be here to watch the sunset with you.
Love you to Dale Hollow and back,
Your big sis