I'm the Youngest of Five Sisters—Here's Why It's the Best Thing Ever

I grew up with four older sisters. I know, that's a lot of girls in one family. While I was the youngest by seven years, they were all much closer in age—frankly, I’d be lying if I said it never made me feel left out. By the time I was in middle school they were all moving out, graduating college and making careers for themselves. By the time I was graduating high school, they had all gotten married and started their own families. I could barely even remember anything about them from before they were in high school because I was so young myself.

In my mind, I felt behind. I felt that I would never be truly close to them and they would never understand me simply because of the age gap between us. At times, I felt like an only child. All I wanted was to be at the same place in life as them. I know they say to never rush growing up, but when all you want is to be like your role models, it’s harder than it seems.

Now, I can’t deny that being the youngest has its benefits. Let’s be real, we all know that the youngest child has it easiest with rules, gets more gifts (from everyone), and will always be obsessed over as being the baby of the family. However, I can’t say that it didn’t get lonely knowing that I had four older sisters who were never right there with me.

When we all lived in the same house, it was hard—they were all close, and I always felt like that annoying little sibling. When they finally let me intrude on their hangouts with their friends in high school, I celebrated internally because all I wanted was to be just like them when I was their age. Eventually, when I went to visit them in college, I never wanted to leave; I knew that they were still so far in age from me, and that no matter how much fun we had together I wouldn’t get to spend time with them at home because they had already left.

Then, when they all got married and moved out permanently to start their own families, I realized that our special Christmas family sleepovers would no longer be a thing. Honestly, I cried because I couldn’t understand why I had to be the one that was so distant from them. I felt like I was missing out on having that close "sisterly bond."

In my sophomore year of high school, when I moved out of state to a new high school, the one thing that continuously bothered me was the fact that I knew I wouldn’t be graduating from the same high school as them. I practically protested until I could move back home and graduate with the rightful mascot. In that moment, I realized that they were truly my inspirations in life because all I wanted was to follow in their footsteps in every way possible.

However, as I grew through high school and entered college, I finally realized that being so far behind my sisters didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. After all, if you have an older sister, you probably know that their unfortunate life experiences often make the best advice for you.

In middle school, I dropped my phone in the school parking lot and it shattered. The first person I called? My sister. In high school, I went through a rough breakup. The people who helped me through it? My sisters. And at the end of my freshman year of college, I got an internship out of state and didn’t know what to do about it. Who did I call for advice? My sisters.

Through anything and everything, they were always there to give me the best advice, because more than anyone they knew what I was going through. They knew how people would react, how to get through heartbreak and how to push towards my career goals. Even if it was brutal advice, it was always what I needed to hear. They ultimately became my go-to people in moments of weakness or fear, and in moments of joy as well. 

More than anyone, I know that my sisters will understand why I do what I do and what my goals are—because of this, they always push me in the direction that will make me the best possible me. They taught me that my dreams aren’t crazy and that I can accomplish even the wildest ones. They guide me and encourage me to chase after things that I don’t believe I have the ability to achieve.

Despite a seemingly endless age gap, and in return an endless distance from them, they are always there whenever I need them. Any time of day, regardless of time zones, and regardless of their own work. They answer whenever I need them or call me as soon as they can just to help me get through. At the end of the day, no matter how far away we are from each other, they will always be my biggest support system and my best friends who I know that I can always turn to.

Even though my sisters steal all of my clothes when they come home to visit—and even though I sometimes act annoyed about it—it never truly bothers me. In fact, it makes me smile on the inside because I finally feel like the age gap is gone. I finally get that “sisters share closets” experience that I always envied when I was younger.

So, to my sisters: this is an ode to you. Thank you for being everything I could have asked for and for always leading me through life.

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