To My Little Sister Who Made Me Who I Am

To My Little Sister Who Made Me Who I Am

I'm not sure when you decided to grow up and become cooler than me, but here we are.
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Dear Younger Sister,

I'm not exactly sure when you started to grow up, but when I swear every time I see you something has changed. Whether you've cut your hair in a way that makes you look more mature or you've grown an inch or two, I still can't believe how fast you've gone from being my kid sister who always got on my nerves to being incredible young woman you are today.

Being four years apart, we experienced different things at different times. A year or two ago, I'm not sure if I would be able to go to you with my problems or expect you to come to me with yours, but now that we both have gotten older, things are more relatable and I feel completely comfortable talking with you about all aspects of my life. Thank you for always lending me your advice, even on tricky subjects. You somehow always seem to give me a different perspective on things that are difficult to handle. I also want to thank you for motivating me to be the best person I can be. I am your older sister, after all, and I still strive to ensure that I'm setting a good example for you--day in and day out.

I know it might sound weird when I say this, but I actually look up to you for some things. You're one of the coolest people I know and you've taught me that it's perfectly okay to stand out from the crowd and do your own thing. You don't try to be anyone but yourself and you don't care what anyone else thinks. I try so hard to express myself in the confident ways that you do, but I still need some practice. With that being said, I want to point out the way you encourage me and reassure me when I doubt myself. I'm not sure I will ever be fully confident in myself or in my decisions, but I know you will always be in my corner backing me up.

Lastly, I want to thank you for always being there to hang out with me and not only be my sister, but also be my friend. When I want to go for a long drive with the windows rolled down and the music turned up to maximum volume, I know who to call. If I ever need advice on what shoes to wear or what shirt to buy, you're the one I turn to. I trust you with my entire being and I know that throughout our years, we will only grow closer. Thanks, Little Sis, for being a woman who has helped shape me in to the individual I am today.

All the love,

Your Older Sister.

Cover Image Credit: Toria Clarke

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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