Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To My Sister On Her Last Day of High School

Lilly,

It's crazy to think that tomorrow morning you will walk out the door to go to high school one last time. It may sound cliche, but it seems like just yesterday we were wearing our dad's big t-shirts as pajamas and making farm animal noises together in the living room. Even though that was 15 years ago, it actually sounds like it could have happened yesterday. I guess we're weird like that.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about how you're graduating from high school, and what that means. For me it meant a chance to finally escape a place I wasn't too crazy about. I was ready to go find whatever was out there for me. I'm not entirely sure what your intentions are after high school, but I know that whatever you do, you'll do it well, and you'll do it with your entire heart. That's how you've always done things.

In high school you tried different sports and managed to enjoy and be successful at every one. That's something to be proud of. You've made many friendships; some of those friendships won't last past graduation Sunday. Others may surprise you and go all the way. Either way, know that every relationship and friendship you've had thus far has impacted your life in some way, good or bad. Each and every one will always be a part of you -- whoever you want to be.

That's the beautiful thing about graduating high school. It's your time. You get to call the shots and make decisions that will have a huge impact on your life. I know that sounds scary, but just take each one a day at a time, one at a time, and it won't be so scary after all.

Being almost seven years apart in age has made for a interesting dynamic between the two of us. And I know how you are, the last thing you probably want is advice from your big sister. But you've made this far into the letter, and whether or not you want to hear it, here's some things I wish someone would have told me seven years ago.

No single mistake will define you as a person. I've made plenty of mistakes. Some are obvious, some you don't even know about. But I truly believe that each one has happened for a reason and has gotten me to where I am. And I'm happy where I am. Which leads me to...

Everything is temporary. If you're not happy where you are, change it! If you can't change it right now, try to change your perspective and give it time. 


If you work hard and treat people with respect, life will do good on you. I can't stress this enough. Now is the time to put all your effort in yourself, whatever you want to work on. Whether that's finding a new hobby, devoting yourself to school, or looking deeper and really trying to figure out what you want out of your life, work hard at it. Treat others only with kindness, and it will all come back to you.

Finally, if you ever need anything, know that you can count on your big sister. I know you've got a lot of pride and you're not usually one to reach out for help, but I'm telling you it's OK. Take mom and dad's advice seriously, too. They've been there, and they only want what's best for you. Same goes for me. If you ever need to vent, scream, cry, anything, I've got your back. Why? Because I love you and I have to do those same damn things myself. Sometimes all of them in a single day. It's part of being human, and it's OK.

There are a million other pieces of advice I could give you, but I have to leave some things for you to figure out on your own. And you will. You'll learn it the hard way, the easy way, and sometimes you won't know you learned it until much later down the line. And that's OK. Everyone moves at their own pace, and everything happens to people at different times. Never compare your life or your happiness to what someone else appears to have. They don't show the whole story, and your story is just as important. Be true to yourself always.

I am so proud of you and everything you have accomplished in your life. I am so eager to see what life has in store for you. I am eager to watch you go out and claim a life of your own. Always know how much I love you and that I'm always here for you.

Go get 'em, kid.

Love,
Big Missy

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