I grew up with two older brothers. I loved growing up with two older brothers. It means I got to brag that I had two older brothers that constantly picked on me, taught me how to get down and dirty (four-wheelin’) and to never take crap from a man. More importantly, my two brothers taught me how to stand up for myself. Honestly, still struggling with that one but in the most dire situations, I at least know how to stand up for what I know and strongly believe.
But something inside of me yearned for a sister. Granted, my mom and I are super close—we’re basically attached at the hip. But I did envy those of my friends who had a sister, whether younger or older. I just knew that those sisters shared an intimate bond that couldn’t be between a brother and a sister.
Now, I want to be the big sister to the girl out there that never had one. I want to remind her that you are worthy and special. And sometimes, that you’re being annoying. Hehe. So, I wish a sister taught me…
I wish a sister taught me that your first love isn’t always your only love.
Love at 16 is sweet. It’s teddy bear love. And, it can be so much to the 16-year-old girl that they see nothing else. That when you’re 16 and in love, nothing else matters and you just want to spend the rest of your life in his arms. But sweetie—you have your entire life in front of you. Don’t waste it on some boy. Even if he poops gold and you’re 1000 percent confident he’s your person, be independent. Go off on your own, see what you like and see what you don’t like. Explore yourself—figuratively and literally. That boy with the letterman jacket is not going to be the same boy ten years from now, just like you’re not going to be the same girl ten years from now.
I wish a sister taught me that your worth isn’t in your looks.
I’m still struggling with this one, girl. I know, I know. Be body positive. Love your body. Love the body that God gave you. You don’t want to hear it from little ole me, your pretend big sister. But it’s true—your worth isn’t in your looks. Your worth is found in Jesus Christ. Your unique identity is based on what God gave you. God created you for a purpose—and that purpose isn’t based on how much makeup you wear, what clothes you wear, what your dress size is, or how athletic you are. God created you to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” God created you to “speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV).
I wish a sister taught me how to use makeup—and when to not use makeup.
I distinctly remember growing up when my brother said to me, “you shouldn’t wear makeup, it’s gross.” He’s two years older than me…and he told me this? This was to a girl who wears drugstore foundation and concealer, eye shadow, and mascara. Today, I long for the days where wearing absolutely no makeup is socially acceptable. However, I long for the sister that would have taught me to properly use a highlighter, how to contour my face, and boldly wear red lipstick to Target.
I wish a sister taught me that it’s okay to be not okay.
We all freak out. We all break down a little bit. Sometimes, we wanna crawl under our covers and hide from the world. But then we want to hide our emotions, hide the fact that we’re hurting. I wish a sister taught me that it’s okay to show your emotions; it’s okay to cry in public. Cry on the bus if you feel the need to. Go to the bathroom if you need to cry while sitting at your desk. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman; you’re a fighter. You’re strong. Being vulnerable and showing your emotions makes you stronger. *cue Britney Spears’ song, Stronger*
I wish a sister taught me that mental health matters, and that you should think of yourself sometimes.
It’s perfectly OK to not be OK. We’ve already learned that. But when it gets to be that your depression, anxiety and worry are interfering with your work, classes, or anything else, then it’s time to seek help from a licensed professional. A big sister would encourage you to do so. It’s perfectly OK to seek out help from a medical professional. If you were sick with a cold or the flu, wouldn’t you go to the doctor?
I will say it now and I will say it again—I love my mom and my family. I just always wished for a bigger sister to dress me in her hand-me-downs, teach me about makeup, and teach me that being yourself is your greatest asset.
Now tell me: do you have any sisters? If yes, what did you learn from any of them? If not, did any of these resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below!