An Open Letter To My Little Sister

An Open Letter To My Little Sister

Whether Biological, Step or Half
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Hey sis,

I know this summer has been amazing. You and I have spent so much quality time together that I can't remember a time where we didn't get along. Soon, I'll be off to college and I won't see you for a while. So here are some lessons, big sister to little.

Don't let that boy try and bug you. Focus on your friends, they're the ones who will be there for you all the time. Plus, who needs boys at your age anyway? Let yourself learn who you are. That's going to be more important down the road.

Stop worrying about everything. You're beautiful and amazing the way you were made. You have all of the potential in the world, don't waste it by worrying all the time. You are 100% the most amazing you there is. So don't ruin it by changing things you simply can't.

Look around. There are so many opportunities in this lifetime. Look around for yours, look for what you want and what you want to do. You may feel like you have all the time in the world, but life goes by in a flash. You'll be in high school soon, and that's going to be the fastest 4 years of your life.

Don't learn everything from me. Please, if I know one thing, is that I have messed up. If you're going to learn anything from my mistakes (lord knows you know all of them), don't do them. You're such a bright, intelligent young lady. I'm not saying don't make mistakes, that'd be expecting too much out of you. Just be careful and cautious.

Love everyone around you until they deserve not to be loved. This is one thing that I wish I had done more often. I could've made so many more friends having this attitude. Befriend the kids you wish you could know better, hell, be friends with everyone. I know you love your little group of friends, but having friends outside of that group will benefit you so much.

Don't lose sight of who you are. I know who you are. From the deepest darkest secrets to the way you carry yourself at home. But somewhere down the line, we all have an identity crisis. We don't know who we are or who we want to be. Keep the child in you alive. She knows who you are and will always lead you the right direction.

Hug your mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, siblings, stepsiblings. If there's one thing you know about me, I hug everyone. Maybe a little too much. It's only because I know that deep down my family appreciates it. It makes them feel important and lets them know that I love them. So hug your family. Wrap them up and tell them you love them.

Call me. If you ever need anything. If you need to rant about the dumb boy in your science class, or if you need to rant about a situation with your friends or family. I'm here for you. I know our family can get overwhelming, but they love you. So call me. If you miss me, if you need a friend. I'm your big sister, it's what I'm here for.

I love you more than life itself. You are the light of so many lives. Keep being your spunky, fun, outgoing self. It'll get you far.

Cover Image Credit: Ann Shuey

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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8 Big Things My Little Sister Has Taught Me

"Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were 5." — Pam Brown

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On the day that my little sister was born, I gained a best friend for life. I gained a girl who I will fight with one minute and laugh with the next minute for the rest of my life. As the big sister, I always felt like I was the one who had to set the best example for her and to teach her.

My little sister, however, has taught me so many big lessons in the past 17 years.

1. Loving others

Loving my little sister is different than loving anyone else in my life. When I already thought that my life was complete, my little sister was born and I realized how wrong I was. I held that little human in my arms and I realized, in that moment, that I wanted to be the best role model possible. Even when we are both fighting and getting on each other's nerves, we may not like each other, but we do love each other.

2. Loving myself

Self-love is something that I have struggled with for a few years, especially since my eating disorder. My little sister helped show me that my poochy is cute and that my worth is not dependent on the size of my jeans and that it is OK to down a cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.

3. Having patience 

My little sister knows how to walk along the very thin line that is my patience. She knows just the right ways to get underneath my skin. She knows just the right things to say to get a rise out of me. I honestly think that testing my patience is one of her favorite past times.

4. Being stealthy

Having a sister who is the same size as me, I have learned to be very sneaky in order to "borrow" any and all cute clothing that she owns. OK, maybe not very sneaky, but I can get away with it at least 50% of the time.

5. Making sacrifices

OK, sacrifices may be a little bit too intense of a word. What I mean is that I have learned what it is like to give-in for the happiness of others. Whether it be choosing a restaurant for dinner or a movie to choose from RedBox, I have learned what it is like to not always get my first choice, and that is OK.

6. Being overly protective

If someone treats me poorly, I can usually get over it. If someone treats my little sister poorly, however, that is a different story. My little sister deserves respect in life; she does not deserve to be treated unfairly or walked over. As her big sister, it is my job to make sure that she is treated properly.

7. Forgiving and forgetting

Girls can hold grudges forever. I remember people who did me wrong all the way back in elementary school. When it comes to fighting with my little sister, though, we can argue one moment and be laughing at and inside joke the next. My little sister helped teach me that sometimes, the best thing to do is move on in life so that you do not miss out on fantabulous memories.

8. Doing makeup

This may seem trivial compared to everything else above, but my sister really improved my makeup game. I went from relatively intense eyeliner and unblended eyeshadow to subtle makeup highlighting my best features.

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Having a little sister has changed my life in so many beautiful ways. I cannot imagine my life without her.

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