Dear Youngest Sister
Turning 13 symbolises a change in your life, further growth and discovering more and more about yourself and all the wonderful things you are capable of. I have written about a few big points that I try to live my life by, I’m loving life so hopefully these will help you too and you will find bucket loads of love and joy in the world:
Be grateful. We are constantly being told this, but being grateful is a habit that needs to be practised because sometimes we forget to say thank you and think in a grateful way. If you see anything beautiful, say thank you to God. If you are struggling, thank God that he gives you challenges you can overcome and learn from. Be thankful for being able to feel, smell, hear… for example, walking along the floorboards in our house, appreciate the smooth varnish under your feet, the beautiful colour and how you can make music by stepping in certain places repeatedly!
In this way you will find happiness in the smallest things and you will be so much happier in general. Being grateful will bring you so much joy.
Always live in the moment. In every second. Last year I learnt how to do that more. In school it can be quite difficult because teachers and parents want you to focus on getting out of school. School is not just a step before you are ‘free’, it’s a huge phase of your life. You learn so much, so don’t just focus on academics. High School is full of learning curves. Living in the moment also means you worry so much less! This is a good one to remember.
Remember that school is not the best years of your life, no matter how many times adults may tell you that.
Academics are not everything, learning about the world and people is far more beneficial.
Volunteer for things. For plays, for helping in your community, for athletics. One of my philosophies is to put myself in as many positions outside of my comfort zone as possible, even if I’m shy, nervous, a bit scared. This does not mean give in to your friends when they want you to put yourself in danger. Put yourself in situations where you know that at the end of it you will have overcome a fear or obstacle you had and you will know yourself more.
Follow your gut feeling. I learnt more about that last year when I didn’t know the directions to a company and I had a feeling to turn down a certain road… Every time I didn’t go with that feeling or my first choice, I became miserably lost. This is just one example but you will know the feeling when you are put on the spot to make a decision when it comes to friends or people wanting to do things you aren’t sure about.
Rules are for fools, and wise men to break. Finally I understand what this one means. You don’t have to follow all the rules, some of the rules shouldn’t be followed at all. However, you need to know when to break them and be ready for the consequences. Stick by your values, what your gut feeling is telling you is right. Some people and rules in life will go against what you think is right. Be brave and question these.
Be spontaneous. Drag mom and dad or your friends up a mountain to watch the sunset when the idea comes to you or to Silvermine dam. I wish I was there but I promise that when I get back we will go on more of our spontaneous outings! And yes… there shall be food! The unplanned outings in life are always the best.
Be yourself. You’re lucky that yourself is a good hearted, kind person because people will respect you for it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t say things that people won’t agree with. When someone is saying something you disagree with to hurt you or someone else, stand up for yourself and others. Stick to your guns. As you grow older you will learn more about how to do it. Don’t worry; these things will come to you.
That is something I want you to keep in mind. You don’t know everything and you aren’t supposed to. You don’t learn unless you make mistakes, although preferably don’t make any of the big ones that you can avoid and learn from others. That doesn’t mean that you won’t come through them though, you will always learn.
By living to your full potential, trying new things, making mistakes, exposing yourself to things you wouldn’t usually, being brave… you will know yourself more. When you understand, question and know yourself, everything and anything is possible. But keep in mind that that is a process, every day you grow, for the rest of your life. Don’t rush it and don’t worry.
Remember that I will always be here for you, us as your family shall always be here for you. No matter what. You, little sister, are a splendid human being and soul. I am so excited to see you grow up and learn more about yourself. Good luck!
Love you to infinity and beyond
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Yup…we were amazed as well. Some brilliant advice!