For the first four years of my existence, I was able to have full control over my household and be the complete center of attention when guests would come over.
That is, until the dramatic day my parents walked through the door holding a 9-pound baby girl.
That's right. I officially had a baby sister.
No more hogging my parents' attention, no more being the only granddaughter in the family and no more of the world revolving around me. WTF, right?
Well, if you fast forward 22 years later, I couldn't be more thankful for the stubborn ball of fun I call my little sister.
While one would assume being the oldest sibling would just mean we teach our younger sisters the rules of partying and how to win over our parents, here's a list of five things having a younger sister can teach you instead:
My younger sister went through a phase where she thought she had super powers.
When she was 5 years old, she would roll a ball in the yard and stick her arm out, telling the ball to stop rolling. Once the ball would come to halt, she would look at me and say, “See? I made the ball stop, aka I have super powers.”
My sister learned about a little thing called gravity that day. This is just one example of the many things older siblings have patiently endured.
Being patient isn't always simple, and it's definitely something everyone struggles with at times.
But the days of being patient while your younger sister thinks she wants to work for NASA or go to college in Australia are all things that have taught us older siblings to be patient in life and to just be an ear to listen sometimes.
Not taking crap from people
PSA: Every person who's given my younger sister shit for whatever reason is at the top of my list.
I know everything and everyone who has ever crossed her. The saying “if you mess with her, then you mess with me” is 100 percent accurate when you have a little sister.
Anytime she would come to me with any trouble, I would first try to think of a logical plan for her to pursue. I always took the "do unto others what you would want done unto you" approach.
But then, sisterly instinct would come into play. The end of the conversation was usually her talking me out of going to the person's house, some calming herbal tea and me ultimately telling her never to take crappy treatment from anyone.
Coincidentally, I began taking my own advice on this topic. The importance of always sticking up for yourself is a trait I always told my mini-me growing up, which has, thankfully, resulted in me doing the same for myself.
Knowing your self-worth
Ah, the days of relationships as a teenager, when you think you've found your soulmate and have your life all planned out.
What a load of bull.
It's quite painful to see how the world of relationships is becoming the center of the world for people at such a young age. But then again, we were all teenagers once, and we all thought we could skip Relationships 101.
As I've watched my sister embrace the male species, my biggest advice to her has been to know her self-worth. Once you know your self-worth, you stop settling for less than you deserve.
It can be hard to realize there are good guys in the world. However, it's important to be patient enough to find the one who respects your worth.
After trying to impart this thought process onto my sister, I eventually adopted it myself, and it's hugely impacted my own perspective on love.
As the oldest sibling, it's likely you have the role of being a little... aggressive with your younger sister, whether it's a shoulder-check on the staircase or placing your shoes right in her walking path.
Well, as much as I hesitate to admit it, my younger sister beat the shit out of me growing up. Yep, you heard correctly. I have vivid memories of her hitting me with a hairbrush, dragging me across the living-room floor and literally carrying me out of her room.
While this caused me much agony back in the day, I reflect on the moments of my sister pushing me off the piano bench, and I'm thankful.
I'm thankful she did all of those things because, in hindsight, she taught me to be a tougher person. By being a tough person, you learn not to take things to heart and to shake off the small stuff.
Yes, as she pushed me off the trampoline and I saw my life flash before my eyes, I definitely said the rosary in my head. But in reality, it was just another opportunity to embrace the hiccups in life's path, tough it out and move on to the next thing.
Realizing "love trumps all"
Like I mentioned, I only have one sister. However, the man I like to call "honey bunny," "lion," "slick snake" (Ask me why they're all animal names after I have a cocktail.) and "boyfriend" has three younger sisters.
So I figured I'd ask the man, who was the oldest of three girls, what he's learned from having younger sisters.
His answer will make you fall in love with him just as much as I have:
So shoutout to all you younger sisters out there. You have taught your older siblings important ideals to carry through life, and most importantly, you've taught us love does, in fact, trump all.