Was is 3, 4 weeks ago that you messaged me told me that there BETTER be a post on your birthday? You shouldn’t have worried– I’ve had this bad boy in the works since before that thought ever even crossed your mind. I mean, it was the least I could do to help celebrate this momentous day, all these many thousands of miles away.
The funny thing is, I’ve sat down to write this at least a handful of times since that first idea formed and until now, I hadn’t made an inch of progress. Turns out, you are a rather tough chica to write for. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I had this tiny hope that somehow, through the powers of caffeine and a killer writing playlist, the jumble of thoughts and memories I have for you would somehow untangle themselves from my mind, find a way out onto this page and thereby form a magnificent and worthy homage to you, dear sister. But of course, it’s never that easy.
I have all at once too much to say and somehow not enough– with 18 years worth of moments and memories to draw on, I don’t lack inspiration but merely the right words. I’m beginning to doubt if there even exist any words in the world that could do you justice. (Alas, I’m still 4,000 miles away and my words are infinitely cheaper than shipping you a present, so please accept the following effort as my best shot and sincerest birthday gift).
I can’t place when it happened. I lack also the faintest clue as to how. All that I know with certainty is that sometime over the past 18 years, by the power of some mysterious force, you and I have become inseparable– like wholly, borderline-unhealthy, completely over-attached inseparable. I’ve shared my best and worst moments with you, from the absolute highs to the lowest of lows, moments of the most gut-busting laughter, quiet contentedness, and the saddest heartache.
Where your story starts and my story ends is an ambiguous and irrelevant fact. There has been nothing of consequence in all twenty years of my life that you have not shared in, and as for you, well, you didn’t get a choice. (It was in the big sister contract, I’m here by default whether you like it or not.) You’re my oldest and closest companion, the first one I turn to for advice and to vent and for opinions and hugs. I count on you for life talks and coffee runs, for jogging-runs and yoga class and grape leaves and hummus and cuddles and nature walks and adventures and stargazing and for sharing all of my most fragile dreams.
Did we ever have boundries? If we did, I can’t remember, because we sure as hell don’t have them now. No topic is too random, no comment unwelcome. You understand me without context and demand no explanation. Oftentimes I’d say you understand me before I’ve even reached a conclusion myself, and I never feel more genuine or true to myself than when I am around you. You just get it, all of it– that coffee is one of the wonders of the world and that Mischa smells like flowers and that crying feels so good and that Mom and Dad are so weird and that we absolutely inherited that weirdness and Cailin may have absorbed an extra strong dose of it but it’s ok, that’s why she’s our favorite.
You agree there’s something cosmic about our lives and how perfectly we complement each other. You believe with me that magic exists and that love is the best thing in this world. You are the yin to my yang, the moon to my sun, the Kili to my Fili, and it’s honestly pretty damn great. From today, it’s been 18 years since our story began. Thank you for every moment of it. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me, for being the first one to dance at concerts and the last person to turn down an adventure. Thank you for being my most faithful sidekick, and for losing yourself right alongside me in our greatest ambitions (World saving coffee shop author movie stars? Absolutely). Thank you for believing in love, and hot tea, in moonlit rope swinging and puddle splashing and bonfires and vegan pancakes. And thank you for believing in me, always, and unfailingly. Ours a wild, wonderful life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy birthday Rhianna! Here’s to 18 fantastic years of adventures, and all the many more to come. Love you, te quiero, always and forever.