Dear Sydney:
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Siblings

Dear Sydney:

To my middlest sister.

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Dear Sydney:
John Rapp

I've been lucky enough to have known you for your whole life. I've gotten to watch you grow up. I've seen you go from a shy little girl to an opinionated, unique young woman. Yesterday, you turned 15. And if there's one thing I know about being 15, it's that being 15 is confusing. High school is weird and fun and hard, and no one gives you a survival guide to help you through. I may not have all of the answers that you'll need throughout the next few years, but it's my job as your big sister to help you navigate your teenage years.

John Rapp

My relationship with you is a lot different from my relationship with Paige because you and I are closer in age, but also because you and Paige are different in a lot of ways. You've always been my little buddy. When you came along, I was excited because getting a sister meant having a built-in playmate. As we both got older, we started butting heads more and more often because you were coming into your own and I couldn't pull the "I'm the oldest so I'm the smartest" card as easily as I used to be able to.

You are a happy, goofy little spirit. You truly care for others, you find happiness in the little things around you. You see the best parts of people and never seek out the negative. You have a way of turning any melancholy situation into a happier one just by being your bubbly self.

John Rapp

You are such a special person and I feel like it's my sisterly duty to give you some advice that I wish someone had given me in high school, so listen up.

Choose the people who choose you. Keep the friends that want the best for you. Know who you are. Know what you want. Know what you deserve. And don't settle for less. You are a special human being and you deserve the best that the universe has to offer you. As soon as you realize that, your viewpoint will change and your life will be better for it–I promise you.

Don't let people take advantage of you. Surround yourself with people who make you want to be better–people who genuinely care about you. You're kind to everyone, but be careful not to let people walk all over you. You know I love you, kid, but you're kind of a pushover. Paige learned that early on in the game, and that's how she always gets to pick the movies we watch together.

John Rapp

Don't be afraid to speak your mind and to stand up for yourself. You are strong and I know you have a lot to say, so speak up. You've come out of your shell so much since you were younger, and I'm proud of you for that.

Don't be afraid to form your own opinions. This is super cliché, but when you were little, you used to sing the theme song to "Wizards of Waverly Place" so loud. I actually think there's a lesson to be learned from that–everything is not what it seems. All throughout your life, there will be well-meaning people standing beside you that tell you what they think is best for you. By all means, listen to their advice, but remember that at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows what's best for you. Trust your intuition.

John Rapp

Don't let yourself wake up someday when you're 65 or 75 and realize that you were so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you didn't live a creative life full of imagination and silliness and dreaming. Enjoy what life hands you. I know you'll do great things. I'm excited to see where life takes you and I can't wait to see what you accomplish. I wish you all the happiness and success and love (and every other good thing) in the world.

John Rapp

Happy 15th birthday, kiddo. I love you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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