It's here, the time where you finally become a teenager. It's hard to believe my baby sister has suddenly gotten so big right before my very eyes. As you come into this new period of your life, there's a few things I want you to know, sister to sister.
1. No boy, and I mean absolutely no boy, is ever worth putting yourself in a situation you're uncomfortable with.
Your first responsibility is to yourself. You owe absolutely nothing to any boy. I don't care if you think he's the love of your life, your job is to live your life first, and boys will fall into their place in your life later.
2. If you find a true friend, hold on to her for dear life.
You're on the cusp of high school, the rockiest and probably messiest four years of your life. If you've got a buddy to make it through with, keep her. Friends come and go like the tides, but if you find an anchor in one, cherish it. Real friends are such a rare thing.
3. Listen to Mom, even when you think she's being ridiculous.
Maybe she is, maybe she isn't, but remember she is the one who person who always has your back, so tell her you love her often and do the dishes once in a while just because. She will be your best confidant and biggest fan, I assure you.
4. Never, ever allow somebody to tell you what you can't do.
You are stronger in ways that you can possibly imagine, and when you're put into that fire, you'll find out just how strong. Some people get burned up in a fire, others are forged by it. Let yourself become the girl waiting on the other side of "I can't" because I know she is going to be just amazing.
5. Whatever it is, no matter how much it hurts, or how overwhelming it feels, it will pass.
Life flies by, the good moments and the bad ones, so before you know it whatever is hurting you will be miles behind you. Just hold on. Nothing lasts forever, for better or worse. Pain is only a temporary thing, I assure you.
6. Never, ever settle.
Do absolutely nothing in life unless it fills your soul. Life is too short to waste time and experiences on that which does not enrich you. If you aren't happy with something about your life, change it. You don't own anybody an explanation as to why. Your life is yours, remember to live it that way.
7. If the unbearable thing is just a little too unbearable, that's okay.
You are allowed to have a weak moment, to ask for a life raft if you're drowning. Asking for help doesn't make you weak, it just means you're human. Remember that you are so much more than the weak moments.
8. You are beautiful, inside and out, created with no mistakes.
Never let anybody else, especially yourself, tell you any otherwise. You deserve nothing less than all the stars in the universe, and they're in your reach as long as you remember what you're worth.
9. Learn from my mistakes, please.
I've been in your shoes (literally the exact same shoes in some cases), I've walked the same hallways, I've had the same experiences so I've already made mistakes that you don't have to make yourself. You can always talk to me about anything, because I don't want my hard lessons to be yours.
10. Show kindness always.
Help a stranger on the street, a kid in the hallway, just smile at everybody you see. But make sure you know the line between being a kind person and being stepped on. Have a back bone and stand up for yourself when you aren't being met with the same grace and compassion.
11. If your heart does end up broken, by a boy or a friendship, let yourself sit and cry and scream.
Deal with the emotions, be heartbroken. But never stay there. Pick yourself up and brush off the dirt, and remind yourself who you are and what you deserve. Handling pain is necessary to move on, but don't let yourself stay in that heartbreak.
12. Remember that you are the Daughter of a Kind much higher than this world and that He loves you unconditionally.
You and I may fight, you and mom may fight, you and your best friend may fight, but you are never out of God's love and reach. Don't let yourself fall away from Him, but instead fall into His love whole-heartedly because His plans for you are glorious
And the last thing,
13. Never forget that you are always going to be my baby sister who I love so much.
13 years ago, my life was forever changed in one of the greatest ways possible and I couldn't be more grateful for the sister I got. I'll always be in your corner, no many how many miles away I am. As much as I wish that I could revert you back to the 4 year old girl with little pigtails and a big, cheesy smile, I couldn't be prouder of the young woman you're becoming.
I can't be by your side every day, I can't answer all your questions, hear all your stories and give you all my help. I can only help that I lived my life in a way admirable enough to reflect in you, and that my words of advice are a comfort and crutch when you need it most. I love you so much, please never forget it. We may go days without talking, weeks without seeing each other, but you are always in my heart. You are the greatest thing that ever happened to me and I thank God for you every single day.
I love you baby girl. Happy 13th birthday.