My little sister turns 24 today. I could cry I love and miss her so much, but instead of making a fool of myself at my desk (not that I don't already do this on a weekly basis) I decided to dedicate today's post to her...
There are many ways in which my sister and I are alike. For example, we share the belief that spontaneous dance parties are a natural part of life. Don't resist them--embrace them (tap dancing in the Wegman's aisles? Genius). We can both eat an entire bag of cheese doodles in one sitting (only the Wise kind--red bag filled with puffed deliciousness). We are Penn Staters and alumni of the same great campus organization, Lion Ambassadors (I'm more proud of this than I could possibly explain!). We both giggle...a lot. We are often quite silly people. We prefer sweatpants and old t-shirts above all else and will immediately change into them upon coming home. We know that Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" is the best holiday album of all time, but especially so when listened to on vinyl. We both hope to one day receive our invitations to the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We share the same tastes in music, books, TV and movies. We also share the familiar bump in our noses and have often deleted photos based on our mutual reaction of "whoa! look at our noses!".
And there are also many ways in which we could not be more different. Physically speaking I am a brown haired, brown eyed, tanned skin Italian; Belle is a blonde haired, blue eyed, fair skinned Slovenian. I am a loud and "look at me!" personality. She is far less loud. As kids this was very apparent as I was always one to march up to meet new people while she would hide behind our mom. I've tended to excel in English and History; she in Math and Science. I love to shop and have dropped many a pretty penny on retail items. My sister loathes it. She has been known to walk out of a Gap having spent a whopping $40 but somehow carrying 3 pairs of pants, 2 tops, a dress and a scarf. She will then refrain from shopping for months. It's truly amazing. She has a deep passion for horses and horse back riding; I prefer to keep my feet on the ground and simply pet the pretty horsies while feeding them carrots. I am a rolling stone with an insatiable travel itch; she is more content in settling down in a familiar place. She dislikes cheese; I am basically a walking ball of mozzarella.
And now, my list-loving self has prepared a snapshot of the top 5 things my sister has taught me (whether she knows it or not).
Little Belle Life Lessons:
1. Be yourself. It is more than enough to attract the right friends, partners, jobs, etc. It is a waste of time to try and be anyone else; who has that kind of time and energy to spare? It is such a pleasure to watch my sister be 100% herself in everything she does, in every interaction, in all relationships. You were born this way, baby :)
2. Work hard. Work hard and do it with a smile--complaining about the number of hours you've clocked in on the job vs. the number you've managed to sleep will not benefit you or anyone else. If you need to work 3 jobs at once while babysitting on the side (she has been known to do this) to pay the bills, all the while still managing to spend time with friends, ride horses, or visit family...you do it. Her time management skills and work ethic have always been something I greatly admire.
3. Forgive and let go. She couldn't hold a grudge if she tried. Like she always says, "What's the point?".
4. Be Kind. It is on a rare, rare occasion that I see my sister lose her cool in any manner. Her first instinct is always to approach a person, place or thing with kindness. I see this gentle kindness exhibited most deeply with children and animals; the girl has the patience of a saint.
5. Give. Give your time, give your talents, give your love. There isn't a selfish bone in her body (perhaps I absorbed that gene?).
I love you, Belle. You are a light and a blessing. There is strength in our differences and comfort where we overlap. You are a constant source of joy for me and I wish you nothing but many wonderful years of love and laughter ahead of you. Thank you for teaching me so much over the past 24 years; for loving me and being my best friend. I'm sending you a zillion good thoughts today and always. Siiissterrrrssss....UNITE! *fist pump*
Happy birthday, darling girl!