A Letter to My Baby Sister

 

Dear Jacq,

 

You’re finally graduating, and I’m almost having a hard time accepting it. I guess it’s now a reality that you are no longer a kid, and that you’re officially an adult, that’s going to have real adult responsibilities.

I have to say that one of my greatest joys in life is being your big sister. Watching you grow up into the strong woman that you are, makes me more proud than you will ever know. Going to your school field trips, cheer practices, high school graduation, taking you to get your license, taking photos for you before your school dances, moving you into your dorm, then about 5 more moves after that. Listening to the excitement in your voice when you found out that you were officially an Alpha Chi, and going to your family day. You have experienced so much in such a young age, and I am so happy that you are willing to put yourself out there and take risks. You’ve done things that I wish I would have done at your age. I will always live vicariously through you.

Now that you are graduating I wanted to give you a list of things “I wish I knew back then, what I know now”.

 

1. It’s not that serious

As you know, I use to be a lot more emotional. I remind myself everyday that if someone’s not dying, it’s really not that serious. Nothing is ever worth getting too stressed out about, because at the end of the day it will always work out.

2. God always has your back

I pray every night. When I start to lose faith in myself or Him, I pray some more. God will always pull you out of any situation if you just ask him to, and if you don’t give up on yourself. So pray. Even if it’s just a simple “Thank you God”, PRAY.

3. Build strong relationships with people who will positively impact your life

I can honestly say that I am where I am now because of the relationships that I’ve built. You will know who to build strong relationships with, and when you find those people, nurture that relationship. Those people will ALWAYS help you when you need them. 

4. Forgive people

It’s a much heavier weight to burden to hold grudges against people than it is to forgive. I usually leave it up to God to teach them whatever lesson they need to learn, but I ALWAYS forgive them, even it doesn’t make sense to you.

5. Don’t take things personally when it come to business

If you get into real estate (especially residential), you will hope that all of your friend and family will choose you to represent them. NEWS FLASH, not all of them will. It’s not because they’re not loyal to you, it’s not that they don’t like or respect you, it’s not that they don’t think you’re not good at it. It’s simply because it’s a major transaction in their life, and they either think one of two things; 1. It might be too personal, and some things they want to keep to themselves. Getting a qualified for a loan will open up things about their personal finances that they may not want you to know. 2. They value their relationship with you too much to involve you in something so stressful and major. Clients can get emotional, and demanding, and they may not want to snap at you, when they get frustrated.

6. Treat EVERYONE with Respect

Everyone has a different story. Just because they are not on the same financial or social circle as you, does not mean they aren’t as important. Everyone holds value, and we need to treat them so.

7. Cherish the Time With Our Parents

We are so caught up living out lives, trying to get ahead, and hang out with our friends. That we forget that they are getting older. Life is so short. And I know that at the end of the day the only people that are going to do anything in their power for us, are our parents. Love them, RESPECT them, and spend time with them. Simply watching TV with Dad, or shopping or having lunch with Mom and having a good conversation, means more to them than you can imagine. 

8. DON'T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY

Always try to find the beauty and fun in every situation. When times get tough, there's always a lesson behind it that will teach you something. Life is a series of chapters. It's your choice whether you want your story dramatic and depressing, or dramatic and funny. I always pick the latter, it's always more fun.

9. Never think you can’t do something

Never be afraid to take a job because you think you don’t have experience in it. Teach yourself everything there is to know along the way. If I was too afraid to take my job now, I would never be where I am. Always have the mentality that you are capable of anything. Because you ARE!

10. Always be accountable for your actions

Never blame someone else for your own mistakes. It always feels better to own up to your own faults even if you get a little crap for it. At the end of the day people will respect you more.

11. Be an entrepreneur

Start a business, even if it’s something small. It will teach you so much about yourself, and will teach you an abundance of lessons, from finances to character.

12. You have 24 hours in a day, use it wisely

Now that I’m a mom, my time is more limited than ever. I feel like I’m juggling a ton of things at once. I wish now that I did certain things when I had more time.

Don’t procrastinate, because one day it’ll be too late.

13. Family is EVERYTHING

Yes, friendships are nice, but there’s nothing like the comfort of family. To be able to be your true self, fall, and get back up again and have people who will always have your back is priceless and rare.

14. Find a man who will let you be you

There’s no better feeling than being with someone who will let you be you and not judge or downgrade you. Find someone who will help you shine your brightest, even if you shine brighter than them.

15. Empower others

Always empower others, and encourage people around you to be their best version of themselves. That kind of energy is rare.

16. Accept people who are close to you for who they are

We all have character flaws. Excuse those flaws because we are all only human. Focus on the good in others and life will always seem so much better.

17. You are worthy

Remind yourself that you are always worth it. Never let anyone try to bring you down. There will always be haters who want to see you fail, and sometimes it can be extremely annoying. Never let it get to you, their thoughts and opinions are just thought and opinions, it’s NOT reality.

 

This list is not even 10% of the things I’ve learned. You will eventually have your own list of things to add to these. I am so excited to see where your future is headed. Your success is all in your control, and I know that you are going to do amazing things.

 

Remember that I will always be here for you. Whether it’s to cheer you on, laugh at you, hold you when you cry, or simply sit silently with as we think about random things.

Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment. I am so proud of you.
You are and always be my baby sister, and I love you more than you know.

 

Love Always,
  

Gretchen Lastra