Being your big sister has been, and continues to be, one of the most fulfilling things in my life. Just when I thought I couldn't love you more, I am proven wrong.
You are curious, strong, loving, and kind-hearted. You make incomprehensible jokes that are still so funny anyway. You help me see life through different perspectives. Most importantly, as you are learning and growing from those around you, you are teaching and guiding them, too. You never fail to impress me, and you make me prouder and prouder every day.
As you continue to explore this crazy, beautiful world, there are a few things that I wish for you to always remember.
Never lose touch of your unwavering love.
As you grow older, you will find that life is not what it use to be when the days were filled with climbing trees, being told to brush your teeth, and being tucked into bed. There are things in this world that are scary and worrisome - sometimes they might keep you up at night.
Nevertheless, there is a whole lot of good in humanity. Look for that good. Make it your mission to spread that good, to show unconditional love to your neighbors, family, and friends. As we will always be a safe place for you, be a safe place for others, too.
Do not let the relationships of someone else dictate your own.
This is a piece of advice that I received at a very young age. Sometimes you will have a world of people readily waiting to dispose of their opinion onto you, but remember that that is just it, their opinion. You never know what you are missing out on if you do not become friends with a person solely based on someone else's opinion experiences.
Listening is different than hearing.
When engaging in a conversation, it is very important to keep a listening ear. Clear your mind and truly try to understand what the other person is saying. Step into their shoes.
When your thoughts are occupied by something else, or you are trying to come up with a response, you are only hearing the words coming out of someone's mouth. Be present. This is how you will be able to better relate to your peers, as well as build and maintain strong relationships.
If you do not understand something in school, ask questions (it is likely that someone else has the same question, too). If you want to know how quantum physics works, or why the sky is blue, ask questions. I will not be helpful when it comes to quantum physics, though. Let your curiosity run wild. Learn something new every day.
It is a very big world out there, but it holds so much adventure and so many treasures. Stepping out into the unknown may be frightening, and that is okay. Take that fear, add some courage and bravery, and run with it. The results may not always be the desired ones, but knowing that you took the chance will forever be rewarding.
I hope you find what you are looking for in this world. I will always be standing beside you along the way.
Dream big, my loves.