Dear little sister,
Whether you are my sister by blood or by choice, I want you to know how loved you are. I want to see you thrive and do better than I did. You're already on your way. You're growing up to be so kind, brave, intelligent, hilarious and a bit of a dork or a pain in the butt at times (okay, most of the time). But you're still the coolest. Here are a few things I want you to know:
Invest In Yourself
Investing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. No matter what your goals in life are, putting yourself first will help you achieve them and give you the mobility and independence to go where you want in life. Work hard in school. Figure out your passions and pursue them. Don't compromise your goals to appease others. If you don't take care of your own needs you will become resentful. Also, as the saying goes, "you can't pour from an empty cup." Helping yourself first will allow you to help those around you while remaining happy with your life choices. Finally, it is never too late to start doing this.
Don't Put Up With Crap
Be assertive. This means with your friends, boyfriends, bosses, coworkers, or anyone else. Be kind, respectful and generous but do not be taken advantage of or be passive. Learn to speak up for yourself and your own interests. This may sound harsh, but not everyone will respect them. End the relationship or quit the job if necessary because this is continuously happening. Recognize toxic relationships and friendships. Know when to move on. It may be hard in the moment, but it will be worth it in the big picture.
Don't Be Afraid To Let Others In
All this, 'be independent and don't take crap' advice (while SO important) is probably starting to sound repetitive. Keep this in mind, but also do not forget the importance of close relationships. Humans thrive on that stuff. Value your family. Keep a few close friendships and don't be afraid to fall in love. Friends and boyfriends may come and go. I don't want to see you get hurt, but it is inevitable. Don't let one person's actions ruin you, there are plenty of good people out there. Forgive but never forget, take a lesson from each experience. Don't be the one hurting others either. Always stay classy; taking the high road is hard but worth it in the end. But remember this, we will always be sisters and I will always be here for you.
Stop Trying to Impress Everyone
Be the best version of YOURSELF. Stop trying to be someone that you're not. Doing this will attract the right people into your life and you won't be truly happy any other way. Do that and everything else will fall into place. I promise.
Don't Forget To Live A Little
Make mistakes, that's how you learn. I won't tell mom and I might even help bail you out. Be crazy and spontaneous. Some of your best decisions may end up being made on a whim. Don't be perfect. Rebel a little. Go out on a school night. Fun has to be a priority no matter how busy or goal-oriented you are (I am still learning that one). Buy that plane ticket, go to the concert, volunteer, try new things and meet new people. Don't live with regrets and don't be boring. Get the most out your life and have fun along the way. You only get to experience it once.
Get out in the world and kick some ass! I know you will.
Your big sister. <3