18.

9.12.15

Tiff,

Hey sister friend. Look at you, turning 18 and all. I would say I can’t believe it, but I can. I’ve seen you grow up year by year, conversation by conversation, boyfriend by boyfriend. Everyone always says, “Life is so short,” but honestly, I disagree. Yes, it goes by fast, but it’s the longest journey you’ll ever travel as a human on this Earth.

I’m extremely proud of you. It’s exciting to see your little sis grow and move and find her own way around high school and her heart and the mess life ends up being once you get to be bold enough to accept its craziness and unpredictability. I want to encourage you to be as curious as you can while you are in the pursuit and process of becoming who you want to be. I know you are a beautiful masterpiece in the making, because God is a pretty cool guy and His creations are always infused with a bit of magic.

Be generous with your love. Share it with people. Be gentle with people. Try to move softly and quietly through this year, notice how much you can learn from listening and watching. People will show you exactly who they are, I promise. Keep looking. Trust yourself. Trust your judgement. Every little thing I regret, I felt it in my heart to be a bad decision before I made it. Your mind knows what you need. Treat yourself as a breakable thing, because Lord knows, we are fragile.

Have fun. People always ask me if I have fun, and I’m sure many doubt it considering I read and write a lot for fun. But that’s the catch. Your fun and my fun and everyone else’s fun, it looks different. We are all going to shake this world in radically different ways, and the only way we’re going to do so is by being who we really, really, really are for as long as possible.

So this year, be all these things. Remember these bits of advice, from your older, clumsier, messier sister.

I love you to the moon and back baby girl.

Shake this world. I believe in you.

-b

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