Keeping on the track of the amazing people in my life being an experience in themselves, let me introduce you to my sister. The photo time line jumps us ahead, but it captures so much of who we are - separate and together. We couldn't be more different in so many ways, but my childhood wouldn't have been nearly as full or eventful without her. Sometimes I lament the fact that we don't have more in common, that we didn't share more interests, but now, as we get older together, I'm grateful to have spent so much time with someone so much braver, radical, outgoing, and funnier than me. My sister introduced me to what it means to really get to know someone else and love them, even when they seem so different, though I still don't always carry that process out as gracefully as she does.
She didn't and doesn't take a lot of crap - see that giant Minnie Mouse head lunch box she's carrying in the first photo? Yeah, there's a mouthy little boy with a scar that's regretting messing with her at school. And if I was the prissy, quiet child that just wanted to be left alone to read? She was fearless, covered in mud and most likely a little blood, halfway up the tree looking for a place to jump. She mastered everything she tried when we were growing up including gymnastics and percussion instruments. She wasn't plagued by my own crazy issues with embarrassment (EVERYTHING EMBARRASSES ME). She took risks and had fun - she was even an amazing mascot when needed.
She reminds me, even today, to keep trying new things, not to be so afraid of what might happen, and just take both a deep breath and a chance. She's still an experience really, every year that I get to know her better, and I'm excited for what's next (you know, when she turns thirty).