I'm not writing this to sound like our mom, she does a good enough job of that on her own. Instead, I'm writing to tell you the things that I wish I would've known when I was your age. I know we're only two years apart, but believe me when I tell you that so much happens in such a short period of time.
Three-hundred-fifty miles feels like a world away from you and I wish that we talked more than we do, but I'll settle for our weekly FaceTime calls in between both of our busy schedules.
I know that you're wise, and think you know everything there is to life, but I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. Hell, I'm still trying to figure it out. For now, however, I will attempt to implant everything that I've come to know into your head because I don't want you to make the same mistakes that I have. The last thing I ever want is to see you hurt. It's the least I can do as your role model and big sister.
I know you'll only vaguely skim through this because you're the least sappy person that I know, but I hope some of it manages to sink in because I only ever want the best for you, no matter how annoying you are.
The first, and one of the most important, pieces of advice is about boys.
They aren't worth it and it's as simple as that. Never chase and don't allow yourself to give everything to one guy. You're in high school and you have your whole life ahead of you. So and so that didn't say hi to you at the school dance won't be relevant years down the road. Don't put all your happiness into a guy. They aren't worth your tears - trust me.
Spend time with our mom and dad.
I know it seems like you're living under their dictatorship, but one day you won't have them to guide you in everything that you do, and although freedom tastes sweet, you're going to miss them. Soak up every second of their love, and free meals of course, while you can.
How you feel is not how you look.
Don't get caught up in worrying about your appearance all the time. Yes, don't let yourself go, but never think that your appearance is what defines you. It's okay to not wear make up some days if that's what makes you comfortable. You're gorgeous on the inside and out.
Being "popular" will not be relevant in two years.
I know it seems like the most important thing right now, and although it is good to have friends, never pretend to be someone that you're not. It's the quality of friends that counts over the quantity.
Eat the last piece of pizza, always.
Never worry about what other people think of you and trust me when I tell you that a few extra calories are just a drop in the bucket. Do what makes you happy without the fear of being judged.
It's okay to be sad.
It's an emotion that will overcome you at what you think is the worst possible moment, but it's okay. Embrace it. Let yourself cry and let it make you stronger. Enjoy the high points in life and thrive off of the low.
Be careful what you put on social media.
I know you hear it so often, but I can't preach this enough. What you may think to be funny or cool, may not result in the best consequences. Trust me when I say that it will always bite you in the butt.
Never stop laughing.
You have a smile that radiates positivity and a laugh that is a punchline within itself. Smile in your worst moments and make a joke out of your most embarrassing. Never go a day without smiling because nothing is awful enough to dull your spirit.
Always follow your gut instinct.
If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. You know yourself better than anyone and should never feel pressured into something that you don't want to do. Follow your heart and believe in yourself.
Live in the moment.
Life goes by far too fast and I know you're wishing your life away, but don't. Right now isn't for planning your future, but rather enjoying the present. You're going to be 18 and moving away before you know it and as leisurely as it sounds, it's going to suck. Growing up and having responsibilities is anything but fun. Enjoy every single second of every single day.
When you feel alone, I'm always here.
As much as we bicker and annoy each other, you will always be my little sister and my best friend. I am here to congratulate you in your proudest moments and support you in your worst. I am so proud of everything that you have accomplished thus far and what you will continue to achieve. I hate being this far away from you, but it only makes us stronger. I hope that life gives you everything that you deserve and more. I love you endlessly baby sis.