Sunday, March 24, 2013

Big Sister

I'm not the oldest child, but I am the big sister. I remember when I was younger being asked, "Don't you ever wish you had an older sister?" The answer is no. I'd never really even think about it until someone would ask that. Maybe some things in life would've been easier, but even now as I try to think about how things could've been different, I can't imagine a world where I wasn't the oldest girl. I like my place in the family. I just am the older sister. Also, I like having four big brothers.

Being a big sister is great. My younger siblings think I'm so much more awesome than I really am. They see me as beautiful, righteous, smart, talented...they think I have a million friends and that every guy is in love with me. On multiple occasions, different younger sisters have surprised me by saying something to the effect of, "Jillian, I'm swimming in men! There are so many cute guys that like me and I don't know what to do! I'm turning into you!"

I hope my sisters can see that they're not turning into me. I hope they don't feel like they need to turn into me. Each one of them is so beautiful, so individual, so herself. Gretchen being bombarded by guys does not mean that she's finally attained "Jillian status." Gretchen is so much more outgoing, and completely gorgeous, than I was at her age. She's not even 17 yet and she's already gone on more dates in 10 months than I did in probably my first couple years of dating. She has self confidence and poise that I envy.

Little sisters, you're not turning into me. You're turning into YOU!

Growing up I was able to do a lot of fun/great things that I'm glad my younger siblings are able to look to and admire. One of my favorite talents is my musical ability--piano, oboe, singing, and other random things. Music has led me to a lot of fun experiences. I also did school sports. I stayed involved in as many high school clubs as was humanly possible. I made a lot of wonderful friends from other schools. I graduated top of my class (out of 24 whole people! Woop!) and made it into BYU. I worked hard to accomplish all these things, and I'm glad I could show my younger siblings that it was possible for me, and it's possible for them to do anything they want to.

It's flattering that my younger sisters (and brother) look up to me. It's also humbling, because I know who I really am behind my impressive-looking résumé. I feel pain. I've had awful trials. I have doubts and fears and questions. Right now I'm struggling to stay motivated and caught up in school for just one more month so I can graduate from BYU and finally have a chance to slow down for a little bit, even if just for a couple weeks or a month, to realign my priorities for how I want to live the rest of my life.

I hope my younger siblings don't ever turn into me. I hope they can see themselves, their beautiful selves, and realize that life is not a competition, or one meet-able goal, or some specific picture-perfect life that they must attain to. If they don't get asked out on dates, they're not failures. If they don't get into the college they want to go to, they're not failures. I hope they can have different and new experiences from the ones I've had, and that they can avoid mistakes that I have made. I hope they can see me as human. (Which, I'm sure they do, 'cause they've seen how bratty and selfish I can be.)

I'm blessed to be the big sister. If I ever feel like giving up or giving in, I remember what my younger siblings see in me. Maybe they know who I am better than I do myself. I am flattered, humbled, motivated, and blessed by the wonderful individuals I get to share eternity with.

P.S. This post was mainly about my sisters, but I just have to add that I also super love the best little brother in the world! Mason amazes me all the time. I love when he randomly chats with me on gmail (he's not old enough for facebook yet) or when I call home and he wants to talk to me even when he's in the middle of reading an awesome book! I like learning interesting facts from him and hearing about things he's doing in school.


Gretchen Ainsley Hale said...

So here's the thing...I don't know about the other sisters, but I LOVE it when I'm compared to you. It's not that I feel like I NEED to follow in your path. I WANT to.

Yes, we're different. We all have different ways of expressing emotion, different ways of thinking, different interests, bla bla bla but we all have similar end goals. And it's been pretty neat having someone like you going first to show us a way to get there. There are so many things that I've done in my life that I love and I know that it wouldn't be that way without your influence. I don't care what you say about yourself, I think that we all see something in you that you fail to see in yourself. I can't even explain what it is! But it's there and that's why we look up to you.

Also.....I love that us sisters are so alike and can laugh and read eachothers' thoughts and not worry about being completely stupid when we're together.

I feel like I could go on and on and on. I just love us all so dang much. I say we fulfill our plan of none of us ever getting married and we'll live together for the rest of our lives. Ready? Break!

Victoria Hale said...

Ditto what Gretchen says... I wouldn't be who I am today without having you as an older sister and sharing friends and sharing hobbies and being able to look up to you. You da best!