April 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
Today is April 14th, 2013. My grandma died six years ago today, but it’s also my best friend’s birthday. Bittersweet is an understatement.
I’ve wrestled with this for awhile because I want to celebrate my grandma’s life, regardless of the fact that it’s over. I have a tattoo I got in memory of her (see below) so I can carry her with me wherever I go, and that’s helped with the healing process. But I honestly think the best way I can remember her is the way I see her in other people. And I can’t think of a more fitting person than my friend Mindy, who turns 21 today.
Mindy and I have shared a life together, and it’s been amazing. The past year has been hard for us (which is mostly my fault) but her unfaltering love is really amazing. I know she’ll be here when I need her. No matter how angry we are with each other, no matter how much we’re screaming, no one hangs up the phone. We keep talking.
My grandmother always told me that family is for life, that no matter how angry we are with each other, we’re supposed to be there. That wasn’t always present in our family, and that killed my grandmother. It’s still not the case now, though it should be. (Yes, Bill, I’m talking about you.) But it’s the case with Mindy. She is the shining example of what unconditional love is. She is one of the best people in my life, and she’s the pinnacle of what my grandmother wanted me to keep around.
So here’s to you, Melinda Marie Rosen. Here’s to your infectious smile, your goose honk of a laugh, your talents, your generosity, and your big, big heart. You’ve taught me a lot about what being a family means and I am grateful to have found it with you and with yours. I know my grandmother when she saw us together, and I’m confident that that she’s smiling now, somewhere. Ti amo, bella ragazza. The happiest of birthdays, party as HARD as you can, and know that I love you very much.
April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Kathryn Elizabeth Steib is the moon of my life, and my sun and stars. Our relationship is truly the only thing in my life that I have ever experienced that I can call true love. Not that I don’t love my parents. I do. My parents are amazing people and I hope to experience what they share some day, their partnership, teamwork, and love is mind-blowing. I am wildly blessed with my family (if there is a deity who can actually bless humans, I haven’t decided yet), but Katie is the greatest person in the world, and she’s the only person I love truly, madly, deeply.
My sister is the epitome of generosity, kindness, and compassion. She loves effortlessly, something that I have struggled with. My sister’s sharing knows no bounds – whether it is her emotions, her empathy, her love. She’s got it all together. Not only that, but she’s wildly beautiful, and also really talented. I mean, look at her! (Sorry I cloud this post with my ratchet hair and awkward squint. She’s much cuter than me.)
All I can do in life is hope to teach Katie a few lessons. My father’s God put me on earth as her big sister, and I have a responsibility to her to teach her all the lessons someone should have taught me.
1. Choose who let into your heart wisely.
Everyone knows about my heartbreak. I publicized it widely, I talk about it honestly if people ask me, and I’m not afraid of feeling pain. I was with a boy and he hurt me really bad. That being said, the buck didn’t stop there. I have chosen to let people (b0yz) in since then, and those choices were also catastrophes. Don’t care about boys that are the wrong fit for you. They won’t stick around and they’ll make you feel awful about yourself, when they shouldn’t, because they just can’t give you what you need. They’re a bad idea, Katie, but you won’t be able to resist them! The chances are they’ll be great kissers. BEWARE. Don’t sleep at their houses, don’t let them make you dinner, don’t talk to them about your problems. IT’S A TRAP.
2. Call things as you see them.
When something feels wrong, it’s wrong. Especially if your older and wiser friends agree.
3. GET A MOLLY. GET A KIM.
See previous item. Life is better when you have an older friend to help you learn from their mistakes. I guess I could be your Molly or your Kim, but we are so far apart in age, the chances are when you’re 20 years old, I’ll be 26 and I’ll hopefully have a real job far away, and I won’t be able to hold you when you are sad. Get an older friend. She’ll dry your tears when you’re sobbing in the middle of Park Street, terrified you’ll die alone. She’ll tell you it’s all gonna be okay.
4. The bad boys are the most fun. They also hurt the most.
Anyone who takes you out of your comfort zone will rock your world. The world is big and crazy and full of experiences and you should have them, but you shouldn’t have them because a boy is showing you the way. They’ll make you feel like you’re on fire and then it’ll burn out and you’ll feel really dumb. Experience all the fun in the world on your own terms, in your own way, on your own time. It’ll be so much more validating, and you’ll be doing it for yourself. You’re a badass, Katie. Embrace it.
5. No one can decide how you behave but you.
No matter what happens, no matter who hurts you, no matter how angry you get, no matter how rash you want to act, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. Think about what you say. Think about what you put on social media. I don’t always, and the consequences have been grave. I have regretted a lot of things I put out on the internet that I couldn’t take back. So call a friend and scream. Actually, call ME and scream. Just don’t write it down, like your stupid big sister.
6. You really don’t need 50 pairs of shoes.
I can speak from experience. You’ll wear the same 10 pairs. Spend your money wisely.
7. Kiss a lot of boys. Don’t go home with any of them.
Please do not make me repeat myself.
8. Surround yourself with people who make you better, not who make you doubt yourself.
Your sister is bad at this, at least when it comes to boyzzz. You know this, you know what I’ve told you, you know what a quality man is. He makes you feel really pretty, he tells really funny stories, he thinks intelligence is beautiful, he lets you be yourself, and he eats whatever you cook and bake him without complaining (we’re lucky, we have Pam blood in us and we are great cooks anyway). If he doesn’t, SHUT IT DOWN.
9. Don’t ever love anyone who doesn’t love you.
You are beautiful, you are funny, you are smart, and you are worth it. Wait until someone loves you before you share yourself and love them. They are the person worth being with. Nobody else. You are perfect, and I love you so fucking much.
10. Never, ever, ever doubt how much I love you. There is no one in the world who I can find that is better than you. You are the best thing in my life, and I am here the second you need me. You call me, and I’ll come home, I’ll drive to Texas, I’ll fly to Greece, I’ll swim to Australia. Just tell me when and where and I will find a way.