May 22, 2015

A Graduation Tribute to my Sister

Hello, world! This post is going to be a little more personal from my other posts because it is a little bit more personal. I just wanted to congratulate the Class of 2015 and hope that all of you take this time of the year to celebrate everything you've accomplished and look forward to the things that life has to offer! 

Love you, and will write to you again soon.

Smile on,


Eighteen years ago, a 7-pound little Asian girl named Dana was born. At the time, I wasn't yet sure of what to expect from my new sister, but my parents were pretty convinced that we would be best friends...or something like that.

Anyhow, things didn't really go exactly the way my parents planned. Because Dana and I fought over practically everything. Consider Mom's distress when we even argued over which cup was whose--when there were two identical cups, untouched, on the table! There were some days when I would think that Dana was against me for every minute of the day, until playtime came along. I think to some of my play dates and a lot of fights with my friends originated from playtime. We would bicker about who got to wear what costume, who got to be this character, et cetera. Surprisingly and to all of our relief, Dana and I never argued when we played. My time playing with my sister was a sanctuary. It didn't matter who we pretended to be as long as we were pretending together. And it didn't matter if we'd just come out of a spanking from fighting over another stupid thing that kids fight about. When we came together with our imaginations, nothing could stop us unless we were done, or unless if Mom was yelling at us to go to bed already, it's 8pm.

Dana and I went to Shepherd of the Hills Christian School. They say that the second child is the more socially adept one, and our family wasn't an exception to this. I struggled with friendships throughout my whole time in Shepherd, and it wasn't until 8th grade when I finally settled in with a friend group that I could fully relate with and confide in... This is saying something, considering that I'd known most of these kids since Kindergarten. Dana, on the other hand, never had a problem connecting with her peers and making friends. In fact, I can't even call her a social butterfly, because butterflies needed to once be a grubby, awkward-looking caterpillar. Dana cared so much about each person she encountered. People were never afraid to come to her with their problems, and she always did her best to support her friends, even as they dragged her into the middle of their arguments. She's reliable, trustworthy, and understanding, and she never let her friends down. I think that her Confirmation verse, John 8:12, inspires her. Dana recognizes Jesus as the Light of the world, and as a part of being his child, she is a small light herself.

Her caring spirit continued shining when she got to high school. At first, Dana didn't want to go to our high school because I was there, and she didn't want to go through that thing that some teachers tend to do. You know, like, "Oh, Nikki was a great student; I'm going to assume that you're going to be just like her because you're her sister." But after many conversations, our family decided that this school was the best option, because it was close, and because of the AP Program, which Dana excelled in. She has taken so many AP classes: Biology, Chemistry, Government, Literature, Language and Composition, Macroeconomics, European History, U.S. History, Calculus, and Environmental Science. Yep, she's kind of awesome at school. She didn't stop there, though!

In lieu of listing off her whole resume, let's just highlight a few of her accomplishments:
1.       Became the President of Eco Club, which brought some new, efficient lights to the high school.
2.       Was a "fielder" on the Varsity Track & Field team, throwing heavy things very far!
3.       Was a valued part of various honors societies, for academics and musical talents.
4.       Became a Green Belt in Taekwondo. (I don't think that Dana really considers this as one of her major accomplishments, but I am just sayin'.)

Anyway, Dana was really nervous that she wouldn't find her place in high school. Like, so nervous that she didn't want to go there. But now that she's a senior, it is easy to ask any of her friends, teammates, fellow club members, classmates, and teachers if they think she will go far, and none of them would have any doubts!

My sister's accomplishments are pretty cool, but I think that the most important thing she has gained from high school is a sense of self. Dana has encountered so many people in her life already, and while she is optimistic and kind, she is very smart. She has impacted the lives of the people around her with her smile, good advice, and listening ear.

Dana has taught me these things so far:
1.       Age does not equal maturity points.
2.       A listening ear can offer much more comfort than a bucket-load of solid advice.
3.       It is possible to sleep through anything if you set your heart and soul to it.

I am excited to see you in college next semester, Dana. I look forward to continue growing with you and watching you continue to do exciting things. I couldn't have asked for a better sister in Christ.  

May 15, 2015

Keep Your Dreams Alive!

Hello there, friends! How are you this beautiful Friday? I got out of school last week, and this week I've just been relaxing and catching up on a whole lot of sleep! I've reflected a bit on how life went last semester, and realized how easy it is to get so caught up in the mundane that we forget why we started doing what we're doing in the first place! Can any of you out there relate too? Like, I think back and am a little sad to admit that all the schoolwork I did was mostly aimed at getting good grades--in a few of my classes, I failed to find joy in the learning process. I missed out on so much happiness there! So many extracurricular things were going on in my life, and at the time it was really hard, but now I look back and am proud of the work I've done.

So anyhow, I found this TED talk a while back--probably around the crazy time of finals. I wanted to share this with you because Bel Pesce's words rekindled that inner flame when I reminded myself why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Keep your dreams alive, and never lose sight of who you are.

Smile on,
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...