Today is my older sister’s birthday, and I realize that as you grow older alongside your siblings, you really start to appreciate the great life lessons that you learn from them. My sister and I got along really well growing up, and if I ever decided to have a Ragin’ Red moment, she could pin both my arms to my sides so fast I couldn’t get a strike in before I was totally neutralized. She would always play with me, eternally inclusive and patient, and was super protective of me growing up. If anyone was mean to me or picked on me, they had to go through her first (and since she was/still is super tall and intimidating, it was not recommended). She’s seen me at my best, my worst and every color of the spectrum in between. My favorite tag line to describe her to others is that, “She’s friendlier, more outgoing and even bossier than me,” which usually draws wide eyes and looks of disbelief on my friend’s faces. If I say that I’m so friendly that I could make friends with a plant, she’s so outgoing she could make friends with a forest and then convince them all to uproot and move 4 miles to the south because the sun exposure is better there. In any crisis, or even if we are just trying to figure out what terminal our gate has moved to in the Jacksonville airport, she will always take charge and everyone will naturally concede to her leadership (seriously though, I watched as our entire flight followed her around like she was the official mouthpiece of US Airways and held the magic key to get us all home). In order to toast to her greatness as a sister/wife/mom/professor/PhD/person in general, I want to share a few life lessons I’ve learned along the way from my incredible sister J:
1. Don’t let people treat you like sh*t.
Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other or your boss, don’t let people walk all over you. Stand up for yourself, because people will respect you more. And plus, you’re fabulous and you deserve to be treated as such.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There will always be times when we need others to help us in life. The key is to not be afraid to speak up and ask when you need it.
3. Stay strong through life’s ups and downs.
You will make it through (insert life challenge here) and out to the other side, because you are tough as nails. Your sis knows because we are made from some hearty stuff. Those obstacles ain’t got nothin’ on ya.
4. Teamwork is key.
Whether we are raking leaves in the yard or ganging up on Mom and Dad for being cray, you’ve got to stick together.
5. Always be your fabulous self.
Be yourself. Life is too short. Laugh like a snake with the “Sss-sss-sss” sound, eat an unsalad with only 3% lettuce, wear your Birkenstocks with pride. You do you. Because you’re the coolest.
6. Sharing means caring.
Even if it’s your favorite Lulu pullover. (Okay, sooo…I couldn’t find a sharing GIF I liked so instead I just threw in some Bridesmaids).
7. How to be a good role model.
Don’t be an asshole, and listen to others.
8. Cherish your sisterhood.
She’s the only one who knows ALLLLLL of the good family inside jokes, plus why it was so funny when Miss Stacey almost ate that pudding in Anne of Green Gables, all the words to the “No No” song, and how to walk like an Egyptian better than anyone else.
And when in doubt, there’s always this:
I love you, J!! Happy Birthday!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤