To my perfect little sister,
You are so loved. I love you like you wouldn’t believe. No matter what, you are always and forever loved. You bring so much joy to my life, even when you annoy me. Thank you for jamming to Newsies with me in my car, for laughing at my corny jokes, and for being a fierce friend to not only me but to everyone you meet. You are exceptionally hard-working and bright, and I can't wait to watch you take the world by storm. No matter how much we irritate each other, I am so beyond thankful that you graced my life 13 years ago.
Even when I don't say it, I love you more than words. So as your big sister, here are a few things I hope you know and never forget.
1. I get super jealous of you.
You are so talented. You own the stage whenever you walk on it. I am so proud of you, but I'm also a teensy bit jealous. When I was your age, I couldn't imagine myself singing a solo in front of an audience or stealing the show away with wit and charm. I am so honored to be your musical theatre director. One of my favorite things in life is working with you to become an even greater actress. You are so talented. Never forget that.
2. Please stop getting taller.
You are my "little" sister, after all.
3. Sure, he's cute, but you are too young to date.
I’m not sure exactly how long it will take for me to be okay with you having a boyfriend, but today is definitely not that day. I can, without a doubt, see through a crappy boy before you can. No boy is EVER worth your tears. (I learned that the hard way.)
4. You are beautiful.
Listen to me when I say this: You are beautiful. Your smile and spark light up a room. Don't let anyone, ANYONE tell you differently. Rise above those pathetic people who waste away their lives trying to belittle others. You're unique. Your uniqueness makes you special. Embrace that.
5. I love watching you talk about your passions.
I think it is so neat to watch you talk about the little things that you love, whether it's your love for animals or Hamilton the musical. These passions are the things you need to hold on to, to appreciate, and to remember that the little things in life are what can bring the most joy. No matter what life throws at you, there is beauty in every day and the most important thing to be in this life is happy – truly, genuinely, intensely happy.
6. Never stop being you.
Don't follow the latest trends simply because everyone else is. Don't pretend to like something just to fit in. Stand up for what YOU believe in, even if it means standing alone. You are worth so much more than you know. You deserve happiness.
7. I am and always will be here for you.
I will always be your biggest cheerleader through every step of your life, and I won’t ever let you stand alone. I will stand up for you until the end of time; never doubt that I am on your side. Please know that you can come to me with your fears and with your hopes. Talk to me in your happiest moments, so that I can laugh with you, and talk to me in your saddest moments so that I might wipe your tears away. I will always be here for you with open arms, no matter what time of the day.
8. Learn from your mistakes.
Yes, you will make them. Lots of them, probably. Look at these mistakes as stepping stones. Learn from them and take that learning experience with you throughout the rest of your life. Remember that life does go on. Don't let one mistake define you. Learn from it.
9. Find friends that lift you up in support, rather than drag you down.
You don't need a handful of "friends." You only need one. One that is with you through it all and will support and love you to no end. Fake friends don't do that. Ditch those toxic people. You don't need them in your life. Like I always say, "Hop on a llama and ride away from drama."
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Yes, we argue. Yes, we don’t always get along, and sometimes I am not the big sister you deserve. But please know that I love you more than anything. You inspire me constantly, and I couldn’t be more proud.
I love you, little one.