This week I am sending lots of love and thanks to two amazing girls in my life – my sisters! Hannah and Rebecca you have no idea how much love I have for you and how proud I am of the young women you are becoming. I know we have some age gaps (4 & 8 years) and so growing up we were not as “close” as other siblings were sharing friends, memories, and experiences but there is no doubt that our bond is very special. I am “borrowing” pieces of this article from Brianna Wiest – 16 Things Every Girl Should Tell Her Little Sister to help with my post today.
Rewind to 4 years ago…. part of Hannah’s graduation gift from me was a beautiful journal that I found randomly one day. Inside of it I wrote down pages of quotes (because anyone who knows me at all knows how much I love quotes – if not just ask Emily, Angela and Renee because they would get messages from me weekly/daily during our roommate days in Club 3200 – the best ones were always on the bathroom mirror ;)). So inside this book I filled the pages with of random things that I and encountered over my years at SLU and wanted to pass on to her. Now it is Hannah’s turn to continue this journey as Bec starts college this fall. I love this little tradition that we are starting and hope someday many many years from now our children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren will be able to get a little glimpse of the love and friendship we share as sisters.
- I know the person whose love you’re pining after right now seems like the biggest deal — the only deal — in the world, but trust me, it won’t be forever. In fact, I can almost guarantee that we’re going to look back on this and you’re going to laugh about how invested you were in such a ridiculous person. You’re not the first person to have your heart broken in this family — and neither am I. It’s a fact of life, not a deficiency of your own. My 2 cents: But love with your whole heart and know that sometimes you will fall hard. Take those experiences and learn from them. Grow. You will have more to offer to the next one that might come along and that relationship will be stronger and better than the one before. Don’t hold a grudge – they helped shape you and give you life experiences, thank them and move on knowing your Mr Right is still out there.
- You’re not supposed to physically look the same way you did when you were 13. Girls — whether they’re fully grown or still growing up — are brutal to their bodies, and they’re even more brutal to each other’s. Relax. Feed yourself. Do things you enjoy that make you move. You’re going to be fine. You’re going to look fine, and looking fine isn’t the most important thing there is. My 2 cents: But it is never to early to start on a proper serum/night cream/under eye cream or anti-wrinkle routine. 😉
- I was the guinea pig and the only reason that mom and dad let you slide with so much crap. You’re god damn welcome. My 2 cents: Being the oldest was hard work not only did I want to become independent but I also knew that I had 4 little eyes watching me everyday. Mom and dad always told me this but I didn’t realize how much you watched me until I was older.
- The popular girls aren’t going to be all that popular after high school. These are the people who peak when they’re 18 and that’s it. You don’t want to be them, even though it feels like you do. Being “cool” in high school isn’t an accolade you carry with you with pride. My 2 cents: Always keep striving to be better. At any age you are still young enough that you should not settle for less than what makes you happy. This life is short and everyday is a blessing that you get to wake up in a place where you have freedom, rights, and privileges to be better. Always believe that.
- Things don’t get easier; you get smarter and better equipped to deal with them. At the end of the day, all life is a game of creating your own mind. How you perceive things is how they are. The better you are…. the better things are. Don’t underestimate the importance of working on yourself. There’s really nothing else to do. My 2 cents: Meet new people, travel and experience new things, try news foods, and be brave! Do things for others but make time for you too. More people will want to be in your company when you are happy rather than always wanting to make others happy.
- I am the only other person (aside from our other siblings) who genuinely understands the level of crazy that exists in our family. This will be a source of great bonding for us, especially as I see you getting into “spats” the same way I did. Call me and tell me the ridiculous things they say, I guarantee I have stories too. My 2 cents: True Story!
- You’re going to need someone to talk to. About love. And sex. And life. And your body. And you’re not going to immediately think to come to me, but I want you to anyway. I’m not going to give you a half-assed, sheltered answer. I’ll tell you the truth, I’ll help you out, I’ll bring you to the gynecologist or therapy or the pharmacy if you need. Don’t be embarrassed, you’re just lucky you have someone to help. My 2 cents: No matter life will take you technology has made staying in contact much easier than writing and sending letters. I am always a phone call away, day or night. Some days I feel like I could almost be a parent to you both because I worry about you and hope you are truly happy. Then I start to worry how on earth I could ever me a mom because I already worry about you both and your not even “mine” …. Call me with good news or bad news or just when you need to hear a familiar voice on a rough day. I am always with you and I always pray for you both.
- Nobody is judging you as harshly as you are judging you, mostly unnecessarily. Everybody does this — it’s okay. But learn to be kind to yourself. My 2 cents: Love yourself because you have a family that loves you …so you can’t be that bad 😉 lol
- Do not forget how to enjoy your life. If every day and week and semester is just a means to another test or graduation or boyfriend or whatever, you’ll always be living for the future. I know life seems like just something to “get through” or “deal with” — and things will look up eventually — but if you don’t learn to cope now, you never will, and coping is often as simple as just learning how to have fun again. My 2 cents: Don’t wish it away. Hannah and I have already had talks about how all she wanted to do was grow up and now she is and she wishes it was college all over again. Unfortunately, this is just one of many life lessons that you have to LIVE it to LEARN it. No matter how much people tell you this you won’t understand this until you go through it ….so Bec take it in and know it’s coming but we both already know that you won’t “get it” until you live it.
- It’s hard to fathom at this point, but what people think of you doesn’t matter, because what affects you is what you think they think of you — not how they actually feel. It’s never other people’s judgments that affect you; it’s how your assumptions affect your own. My 2 cents: Be BOLD, be confident, be daring, be brave, be a leader … do one thing everyday that scares you. Start “doing” rather than worrying it will get you farther.
- Your success depends on you. Your degree is only as good as what you take from it. You’re only as viable of an employee as you make yourself one. You’re only as talented as you have the guts to act on what you feel is right. My 2 cents: You got this. Anything that comes your way and on days when you feel like you don’t know that I am here to tell you that you do.
- It’s rare that you won’t know what the right thing to do is. The challenge is — and always will be — having the courage to actually do it. My 2 cents: AMEN! When worries are getting you down a little, by all means pray and don’t quit. Take the leap of faith and trust that GOD already has an amazing plan for you.
- You can’t understand what “youth” means right now, you’re still in it (and so am I even though I am turning 26 Saturday), so let me give you an idea. You have minimal bills to pay. One day you’ll have hundreds of dollars of a mortgage, probably even more in student loans, all weighing on your shoulders. A job isn’t a means to buy another top on the weekends; it’s a matter of survival. You’re supposed to have fun. You’re more likely than not being housed and fed and given as many opportunities as the people around you can afford to. You’ll have to do this on your own one day. The main way people waste their youth is by taking the things that don’t matter too seriously (like how you look, or how “cool” you are) and not caring enough about the opportunities you have in front of you. My 2 cents: It’s hard to get catch up in the materialistic side of the world – I will admit that I do sometimes because it is glamours from the outside – its ok to spoil your self/others sometimes but remember that there is no “price” to buy you ….(Jesus already did that) 😉 Maybe memories with people rather than spend money on materialistic things…what will you look back on later in life and be more happy with a trip to a place on your bucket list or the new bag you carried around for a few months. Matt is teaching me this … slowly but I appreciate our time together for someTHING to have.
- You don’t need to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life right now. I know it seems uncomfortable to not know, as though you’re somehow set up to be less successful because of that, but it’s usually the case that a lot of people who don’t know find their way genuinely — they follow their passions rather than just choosing something for the sake of it. You don’t need the answers, and the more comfortable you become with not always having them, the easier everything else will be. My 2 cents: I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
- Sorry for being mean to you were growing up. You were annoying. But I like you now. My 2 cents: I think it was just a rite of passage…..good thing we made it to the other side
- We’re gonna be BFFs like mom always said. Love you. My 2 cents: But don’t tell her she was RIGHT, AGAIN 🙂
I love you girls! Thanks for always being there for me.