To The Sister Who Has Always Been There

To The Sister Who Has Always Been There

Despite the fact that I might not show it consistently, I’m so thankful for you.
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There are few times where I feel like I’m a bit at a loss for words, especially being a journalism major and someone who’s grown up being told that I have a tendency to be a bit “wordy." However, I am unsure how to express how much my older sister means to me, especially after having grown up with her for 18 years and creating so many memories that I will never forget.

Despite the fact that I might not show it consistently, I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful that I’ve had someone to watch as I’m learning my way through life. I’m thankful that you’ve been someone that I can say stupid things to and the most you’ll do is roll your eyes.

Heck, I’m even thankful we make the same stupid faces. But, I’m thankful that you’re my sister.

Whether it’s the car rides when we’re listening to country music, or the times we laugh so hard I cry, I’m just thankful being around you and I'm thankful that you’re my sister. You’ve always been someone who’s so indecisive that you feel it (sorry), but through those indecisions it’s not that you don’t know, it’s that this choice means too much to you for it to be rushed or made without thought.

When looking back to the past 18 years that I’ve spent having you as a sister, I’m thinking of all the times that we’ve laughed so hard I cried, or the jam sessions in the car - even the ones when we purposefully pass our house to finish the song we’re listening to - or the jokes we’ve shared, the movies we’ve watched, and all of the times that you’ve been my sister.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved my family and I wouldn’t change the way I grew up or the people I get to call mine, but I don’t think that it was until I moved to college that I recognized how much my family means to me. When my sister was away at college, I always told my parents, "I don't miss her," because I was so focused on everything around me that I didn't realize how much I missed her.

However, what I did miss were the times we would go to a movie, or watch one in our basement lounging around the house and laughing when we got a hard time from either parent about it, or the times in the car when I would try to blast the music and she wouldn’t let me get the volume past a certain level. Even the times when I would do something she would frown at me for, or the times when we would frown at each other and then burst out laughing, unable to hold the frown on our face, or when we would annoy each other or argue about something stupid - I missed all of that.

I’m so lucky to have had someone in my life who I’ve been able to watch and learn from or learn about how much our indecisiveness is as much a family trait as being late. Through it all, I’m glad that she’s my sister. I’m glad that I get those semi-stupid “joke of the day" Snapchats from you basically every day.

I’m glad that we’re indecisive and it takes us forever to make a simple decision. I’m glad that we’ve been on adventures together. I’m glad (kind of) that I’ve been told that I look a lot like you, even the times when it’s “Hi, Alex’s sister.” Most of all, I’m glad that you’re my sister.

Still, writing this now thinking about some of our laughs, tears, and just the times of being together: you’re someone who’s shown so much love and so many smiles, showing me what life is like in my own way, even putting up with all of my crap.

Being in college now, I’ve learned how important family is now that I don’t get to be around mine every day, I’ve learned that you shouldn't take family for granted, I’ve learned that the love you feel for your family is something so strong and how lucky I am to have a sister like you. So, thank you for being a sister who’s as fantastic as they come. But most of all, thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Meghan King

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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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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