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.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor and water

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