Advice for an older sibling, written by a younger sibling (7 year gap)

“A crisp day, isn’t it, Mr. Run?”

Yes! Indeed, it is most definitely a crisp winter day.  Did you hear that? A crisp WINTER day. Guess what guys, Christmas is approaching as quickly as a choo-choo train, fools!

I’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months –  a very fashionable, diamond encrusted rock, (my birthstone) that is – but a ROCK. A big old fat boulder.  I apologize.

The other week, I had a revelation while carefully shampooing my bird’s nest.  I always have these emotional episodes in the shower.  It’s just something about that cold water attacking you and stinging soap that makes you panic when it gets into your eye that just evokes so many cry-able moments.

You know, the best part about crying in the shower is that no one can see your tears! That quote was originally by Mr. Bean, (substitute “rain” for “shower”) the comedian.  How about that? Whoa there, paradox.

So, here’s the stitch:

I’m 14. My name is Kezi.

My sister, who I’m calling Cat, (an abbreviation of her middle name) is 21.

We’re 7 years apart! She’s graduated college. I’m a freshman in high school.

She left for college when I was starting 6th grade.

I probably love my sister more than anything in the entire world.  Although she’s been “missing” most of my life, she’s always been there!  I’ve been living both as a sibling and as an only child all these years.  Here are some tips I suggest for older siblings, because, believe it or not, Cat and I went through both good and bad times that may have changed our relationship forever.  So, grab your nacho bowl and donkey pinata and listen up, chicas.

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DO:

1.  SHARE THINGS WITH YOUR YOUNGER SIBLING.

Yes, no matter how old they are! Sometimes you’ll feel that your little sib can’t handle something because they’re too young.  And yes, sometimes, they ARE too young.  But please make sure to inform them of big (or what you feel are big) events in your life – like who you’re dating, how you feel about family problems, or simply keys to your personality.

Your younger sib, however squirmy or sassy they may be, most likely looks up to you.  A lot of their decisions in life will be based upon your judgement.  If your sib thinks of you as another god, it’s important to show some sensitivity.  This is especially important as they get older – the more you trust with them, the more they’ll open up to you.  This will create a sibling bond as strong as the shell of a cockroach! (For lack of a better simile)

2.  ENCOURAGE THEM TO TRY NEW THINGS.

This is so, so, so, SO important! Your sibling might be encouraging YOU to be the one to try new things, or they might be as close-minded as a person that only eats fat hamburgers.  If your sibling is the latter, try to persuade them (without forcing them) to BE DARING.  Here are some things my sister persuaded me to do:

-surf in the middle of the ocean

-ride this:

-eat seafood, including sushi

-learn how to skii and actually skii down the largest hill in the resort

-ride a jet skii

-play paintball

-Run for STUCO secretary, joing National Honor Society

-go horseback riding

-Jump off a platform 100 ft in the sky with only ropes to catch me when I fall

And so much more!

You see- my sister taught me I could do anything.  She is an amazing role model for being daring, adventurous, and living life the way it’s SUPPOSED to be lived.  Without her, I would’ve never done any of these things that made my life that much more interesting.

By encouraging your sib to do things out of the ordinary, not only will they have another thing to boast about, but they will most likely become a much more outgoing, social person.

3.  SHOW THEM YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.

Perhaps it’s just the needy younger sibling in me, but a little affection now and then really can’t hurt!

You don’t have to bake them cookies or flood them with kisses when you come home, but make sure you do simple things occasionally that show them that you care.

Growing up, my sister was really harsh on me, especially during her teenage years.  You would think that as I got older, I would realize that she isn’t a goddess and that I would be so fed up with the way she treats me.  Nope! I enjoy her company (however sassy she may be) much more than I dislike her attitude.  This is because, amidst the irritations she showed me, she was extremely thoughtful.

Examples:

She always helped me with my homework, even making flashcards and creating techniques for me to study better.

When something reminded her of me, she bought it happily.

One day, she spontaneously came home with bubble swords and we spent the day blowing bubbles bigger than our heads

I can easily say that the small things she’s done for me has kept me going.  If she had never showed a sensitive, fun, or caring side, (and I do feel terrible as I write this) – I would’ve given up on her a long time ago.  I would think of her maybe as an old, distant friend rather than a sibling.  You really don’t want your relationship to resort to that.

There are several other things you should do for your siblings, but to make this post shorter, here are the no-no’s!

NO-NO #1 –  TREAT YOUR SIBLING AS YOUR SLAVE

“Can you take this to the sink for me?”

“Can you read this book and summarize it for me?”

“OH YEAH . . . . I left my exotic bird, Quackers, at that resort we stayed at in Switzerland.  Next time you go out, can you bike over there and grab him for me?  Kay, thanks.”

Two ways your sib will react to this:

1)  ARE YOU CRAZY? I got stuff to do, places to be.  You may be older, but you aren’t the boss of this!!!
2)  Oh ok.  I get/do/sniff that for you :D

If your sib lashes out at you, then they’re probably acting accordingly if your request is . . . grand.  A multitude of small orders can also produce this same reaction.  Their respect for you will most likely drop.

For #2 – Alright.  So your sibling fulfills your every order.  It’s pleasant for you, but this can actually damage the self-confidence of your sibling.  However happy they may seem while serving you, later on, they will have issues saying “NO” and will become a doormat.  They may feel like that have to fulfill everyone else’s needs as well!!

NO-NO #2 –  POINT OUT THEIR FLAWS, OR COMMENT ON HOW THEY’RE CHANGING.

This is really more common in siblings with larger age gaps.  If the older sibling has been away for some time without seeing the younger sibling, naturally, they WILL change.  They aren’t going to be the little baby you saw at the hospital forever.

“You know, you’ve changed.  I can’t believe you went from being a girly-girl to someone that’s hardly a girl anymore.”

“Since when did you start wearing make-up?”

Comments like these, however harmless you may intend them to be, can really shut down your sibling’s confidence.  Friends’ comments can be shaken off, but if your sibling respects your opinion, they may feel as if they’re doing something wrong.  Remember how you changed personality and appearance wise as you grew up?  Well, the same thing is happening to them.

NO-NO #3 – COMPARE THEM TO YOU/MAKE THEM A CLONE OF YOU

“When I was your age, I was MAKING websites, not just looking at them for hours.”

“WOW, I was that size when I was 18 . . . . and you’re 15!”

 

Please, don’t do this!  Everyone evolves and discovers what they like at different ages and points in their lives.  If you have a large age difference, keep in mind that times have changed since you were their age.  Some things are harder, or easier, to accomplish.

You sibling most likely is compared to you by your relatives, family, and friends.  Even subtle comments from unsuspecting people can make your sibling think that they are dependent on YOU.  Example:

“Oh, so are you going to be a doctor like your brother?”

Once, my dad said to me, “When your sister was your age, she had much more friends than you did.”  Chances are, your sibling is compared enough to you by other people, and they really don’t need to hear it from you yourself.  Once again, this shuts down self-confidence.

 

I supposed that sums it up! I really hope that you can you these tips, or if you’re a younger sibling, you can relate.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to make more posts like this since I have a little too much free time! See you next time :D

 

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Cat (left) & I ♥

 

 

 

Today’s Retreat: Reflection ~

Hey guys! Wow, today was such a great day! Our grade had a retreat, all day, (no classes) at the gym of the neighboring church. My goodness, it was really fun & inspiring. We made play-doh monsters, skits, lectures, FREE FOOD, piggy-back races, races with the interns & basically, when we weren’t in the middle of an activity or lecture, we were partying :) Everyone was running around, dancing on chairs & spinning around & getting dizzy. (that’s what I did ^_^)

I had the time of my life. And I’m going to talk to you about the lectures we received on a serious note. They were really very inspiring, especially if you’re a Catholic or Christian. If you aren’t, well, just stick around, it’s still pretty interesting anyways :)

The woman that spoke with us was named Monica. And she talked to us in more detail about the Theology of the Body, a speech written by Pope John Paul, one of our previous popes. And it finally hit me – everything my life stands for, everything I stand for, & what it all means. Here’s my reflection, that I think every person should make count in their life.

I realized today, that someday we are going to stop breathing. We will depart from this world. And it’s scary, I know. I believe as a Catholic that when we die, we will all be taken up to Heaven. And our life is what determines where we will go – Heaven, or Hell. And I realized that every little thing we do is watched by God himself.

Our actions determine the rest of our life here on earth and everything beyond that. Every time we sin, our soul is split from our body. Inch by inch, our soul, God’s gift to us, will slowly come away from us if we choose to sin. But with every good thing we do, we are brought closer to God, & to our faith. Our soul will be a clean slate. So that’s why I think it’s so very important that we make use of our time on earth.

I believe we are SO lucky to be here right now, don’t you think? To have met the people we have met, to have a house, to have a family, to just be alive. Every rock, every flower every tree, every person is a miracle. Think about how complex are bodies are. Think about all the white blood cells that fight off bacteria & diseases, think of our digestive system, & just how everything works in our bodies. It’s so complex, so completely fascinating it makes my head spin.

So that’s why I think we should treat our bodies with respect, & ourselves with respect. We should have dignity. Our bodies are not made for bad things, & our minds & brains are just not wired like that.

7 is a magical number, a holy number in the Bible. In seven days God created the entire world. Everything we know is traced back to God. Somehow we are all connected, we are all brothers and sisters. We have 7 places on our face that were made especially for listening & carrying our good works. Our two eyes, our ears, our nose (2 nostrils, haha) and our mouth. Have you ever noticed that we have two ears, but only one mouth? That’s because our job is to listen more so than talk.

Another thing they talked about was the Theology of the Male & Female Bodies, which was an .. interesting .. talk but still, very informative. So listen  up. Monica explained that boys were built ‘rough, tough, & buff.’ (not the ones in my class) but anyways, she said their duty was to Protect & Serve. Plain & simple. Their job was to respect & protect others, especially women & small children. Let me tell you a story Monica told us, which is true.

She used to be a teacher, & one of her former students, Fernando was grown up. She said he was at the bar in a restaurant with his sister, Rosie. Fernando left his sister & went to the restroom. When he came back, he found out that these two guys were harassing his sister & not respecting her at all. Fernando was a big guy, & he said, “Hey,that’s my sister. Leave her alone.” One of the other guys asked him, “What are you going to do about it?” They kept harassing her, & she was surrounded, and she couldn’t walk away. Monica noted that it’s braver sometimes to walk away. It takes a true man to walk away or make peace in a situation. But this was not the case. His sister was in danger, & he had to take some action. So he beat both of the guys up. Although he didn’t want to, he saved his sister from potential danger. But the story doesn’t end there.

At the time, he didn’t realize he had beaten up two gang members.

So the gang was obviously upset about this. They tracked Fernando down. They figured out who he was, & where he lived & everything about him. On day, when he was at home, the gang members broke into his house. They beat him up & shot him in the back six times.

But Fernando made a sacrifice – he shed blood & tears for his sister, & because of his sacrifice, his sister was spared. Monica said that this was what boys were called to do – protect & serve.

She also told us that this is so because just the ways are bodies were built, it is fact that boys are made to Protect & Serve, & girls are made to Hide & Invite. She said girls can touch their back easily, because their arms were made to embrace people. Guys’ arms did not touch their back as easily. That’s because their arms were made for, well, fighting..? More like protecting. IS that amazing? How God thought about all of this, even the tiniest details. It’s beautiful, it really is.

The next portion is about girls’ uses : To Hide & Invite. Let’s talk about invite first. Inviting meaning – girls are more emotionally built; whereas guys are more physically built. We think more about things – that’s why we are always the hosts for parties, & why we can make everything look, well, beautiful. We should Invite people – not exclude them – because that’s what we were made for. Girls are naturally more social that boys. So we should use that gift, always.

About the first one, Hide. Well ‘hiding’ is basically about love.

She said to us, “There are two things you need to know about being a girl. First of all, we are made to be mysterious.” She talked about how we have to save our feelings and other special things we hold inside our heart & wait for the right person. She said, “When you see a guy, maybe, you may think.. ‘Oh he’s cute!’ But it’s all in our nature. God gave us these feelings. They are good feelings – to reserve for the right person. Because we were made to start families, too.”

Here’s another good piece of advice that one of the interns, Elizabeth, who recently got out of college said about what it means to be mysterious:

“I really wish I had known this when I was your age. I only figured this out after I got my heart broken, many, many times. It’s just that there’s a thing called living a chaste life. Chaste meaning, you don’t have to be flashy. You don’t have to do things to make certain people notice you. So don’t go around, spilling all of your feelings, and all of your emotions out to just anybody. Because sometimes it may feel like love. And maybe it really is. But you’ll know when the right person comes along. You’ll just know. Because say you completely trust in someone & tell all of your secrets, and all of your lies & emotions & feelings. What will happen if you drift apart? So hold a special place in your heart for things your will reserve for that special one. You’ll just absolutely know when. When you’re positive, after you’re happily married, then you can spill those secrets & emotions. Then you can say what you’ve wanted to say. Just wait & be patient. When the time comes, you’ll be so happy & relieved that you saved something special, something you never shared with anyone else to give to that person. When you wait, and be patient & save, you’ll be happy you have something to give. So be mysterious – don’t give out too much info. Set the bar high. This is what the right person will do – You’ll set the bar high. If they really, truly care for you, and if they are willing to, they’ll jump over that bar. That’s when you know you’ve found the right person. When they are willing to fight for you. But if you set the bar low, they’ll do whatever they want with you. They’ll use you. And setting the bar low requires little to no effort. Meaning, you two don’t really get to know each other, or care enough about the other to make some effort, to make the relationship work. Because guys are more physically built, they may want more … physical forms of love. But I’ll tell you this: wait for the guy that tells you a piece of himself. That tells you something that increases his vulnerability. Because of the way a guy’s mind works – it takes alot of strength and love to say those words. And if he’s saying those to you, because girls are more emotionally built, that may mean more to them, then, say  – a kiss. Wait for that guy & save a piece of yourself.”

Personally I think that is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. I think it’s excellent.

Another thing – today’s society is even more dangerous that it ever has been. Don’t let others influence you in a negative way. Like for example – all the girls at my school are getting, like, TOMS & blue Sperry Top-Siders. Although it’s not really my style, I was considering buying a pair of one of those because everyone else is. Thankfully, I snapped out of it. You see how easy it is to get sucked in to .. what other people are doing, wearing, acting? It’s so easy to be misdirected because of all the forms of communication girls see everyday about what the definition of ‘perfect’ is. Dare to be different, really. My friend Miyu is really awesome – she wears amazing clothes, much different from what the other are wearing – jeans, polos, & brand names – & her hair was different too. She braided it into 4 sections – the 4th section with a black and white ribbon. And let me tell you – she got more complements about her outfit – that no one dared to wear before – & her hair, which was something new – than any of the girls who were wearing jeans, skirts & Sperry Top-Sides & brand named clothes. Dare to be different. Dare to be different – because people respect that. They realize that you’re strong enough, & unique enough to break away from what others are influencing. They realize that you are your own person, not some sort of robot that does whatever everyone else tries to do. So think about that. My friend Lulu is different – I must say – she’s more outspoken, & funny, & blunt & active than all of the other girls in my class. So people respect her. They look up to her. They know that she is unique, & not afraid. They know she’s confident. And that a good thing – she doesn’t get picked on or teased or anything like that – because she takes eveything lightly. Despite the fact that she’s so different from everyone else, she’s very modest & kind. That’s why everyone loves Lulu, & why she’s always chosen for lead roles in skits or plays. Why everyone is drawn to her. Because she’s interesting, that’s all. Because she’s different.

That conludes my ‘lecture.’  Although this post is 2000 words, I still have load and load and load of more things to say about these subjects! Arg, it’s killing me. I have about 1 million words I need to type, right now. But I’ll d o that on my own time, haha :) This is a very powerful thing for me, & I really enjoyed writing it & sharing it with more people. Congratulations if you read through this! (srry if there were spelling errors, I did this quick, the thoughts were flowing) You read about 2440 words. Gosh. thank you if you read through this whole thing – I really hope you can take this advice and apply it to real life – because this is the best advice I’ve heard. And if you didn’t like this article – or if you completely disagree with me about this, then that’s ok :) Religion is a touchy subject. But I don’t plan on changing myself to conform to other’s opinions. This is what I personally think is right, what I know is right & what I’ve grown up with. So if this was useful to you, please share it with others :) This really need to be sent on. Thank you for your time! I love you guys & I’ll post again soon :)

♥ Kezi

ONEWORD OF THE DAY: DESTRUCTION

Destruction. Fire burning. Trees falling, collapsing. Flame licking  the sides of the shed.I must burn. The fire inside me is raging, pulling me. The glory it feels to set things afire – to see things crumble, to see things be eaten up by what I think is one of the most powerful thing on earth – fire. 

Of course I don’t feel this way. The thing you need to know most about writing is to have empathy. Think about your character. Which is he/she feeling? Write it down. 

SONG OF THE DAY:

I really love this song! Lion King/ Disney movies are the best. Disney has contributed a lot to my childhood. This is a great song – I love the chorus! Goes with the theme too! And when you think society wants you to grow up too fast – just stop, and smell the roses. Because life really is short. You have to frown old, but they never said you had to grow up. For me – it’s personally more fun that way :) And don’t take things too seriously. This song makes me want to cry, it’s so beautiful & reminds me of innocence – so don’t grow up too fast :)