I bear a list of titles that I have accumulated over my short 19 years on this Earth. All varying in importance, I am given titles like friend, daughter, listener, and so many more. Not every title continues with me throughout my entire lifetime. Some are removed as I move into different stages in my life. Some titles only apply in certain situations.
A title that means more to me than I can ever describe is big sister. Through this title, I have watched life began. I have heard an entire story be told through a simple laugh or giggle. I have seen more tears than will ever have liked to see. Through this title, I have given and received the best hugs on this earth. And I have played games I never wanted to play.
Because I am the big sister, I have taught my little sisters lesson upon lesson in life. Some were intentional, others not so much. These lessons range from showing them what to do in situations - others showing them what not to do. But for every lesson my little sisters learn from me, I learn one, if not two, from them.
Here are only 5 of the many lessons I have learned while bearing the title big sister.
There is power in forgiveness.
My sisters and I fight a lot. I will not lie. It could be over the stupidest things, we still bicker about it. If you have siblings, you know the cycle. You argue about something, mom or dad step in. Then suddenly you move to giving each other the silent treatment. The beautiful thing is sometimes my littlest sister will make her appearance in my room, acting like nothing even happened. She is choosing to forgive me for the harm and ugliness I have shown. My sisters have taught me what it means to forgive someone day in and day out even when I don't deserve it.
In life, I have and will still face situations where I am given the choice to forgive or not to forgive. I am reminded of all the times my sisters have forgiven me even when, at the time, I did not deserve it.
People don't forget.
Too many times, my sisters remind me of something I have said or done, even when it happened years ago.
This is a lesson I learned quite fast from my little sisters. It doesn't matter if its good, bad, or the worst. People don't forget things. It is human nature. While there is power in forgiveness, and accepting forgiveness is key, don't be surprised when stuff goes unforgotten.
The importance in being an advocate.
Back in elementary school, I vividly remember the moment I learned how important it was to be an advocate for others. I was on the bus, minding my own business, reminding myself how lucky I was to be one of the first stops on the route. My thoughts were quickly interrupted when a friend pointed out that someone was yelling at my sister. Without thinking, I was moving seats to defend my sister and made sure the kid causing harm saw she was not alone in her battle.
While this lesson certainly was not intentional, my little sister taught me to speak up, especially in situations when it is my duty. My friend didn't tell me what was happening so she didn't have to step in or because she didn't care. No, she knew it was my little sister and that it was part of my job as big sister to have her back.
Just live in the moment.
Just last week, this lesson was engraved in my mind once more. It was pouring outside and there was monstrous puddles forming in front of our driveway. I heard my sister mention how she wanted to go outside and play in the rain. What else could I do besides throwing on my windbreaker and crocs and living in the moment with my sister by my side.
Often times in life I get way too caught up in the motions that I forget to just embrace the moment, and play.
I cannot even begin to describe the amount of times my little sisters flipped around my entire crappy day and made me look on the bright side. Sometimes it was a dumb joke that made absolutely no sense, a smile from across the room, or even the most important hugs I will ever receive.
It is something about having my annoying, bratty little sisters, who I fight with more times than I can count, make me realize that my small existence matters in a huge world.