When I was in College there was an exercise we did in Movement class called 'The Celebration Song.' What would happen is we would break off into small groups, pick someone in the class we wanted to celebrate, create a song for them complete with melody, harmony, chorus, and choreography. Then we would get up in front of the class, sing our song, and within our group one at a time, between each chorus, we would sing to them solo. The goal was to make this person feel really, truly celebrated. We were to make them feel like the most special girl or boy in the world and give them this incredibly beautiful and selfless gift. Well today is a very special day and I want to celebrate a very special human, my sister Samantha, because today is her birthday!
My sister and I shared a room from the day I was born until the day I went to college. We are 2 years apart and we are two of the most competitive little ladies you will ever meet. Perhaps you've read what happens when we travel together (CLICK HERE to read a first hand experience but basically I always end up getting cussed out in an airport.) We are both incredibly strong willed, vocal about our opinions, and believe we know what is best for one another. It's because of this that we are constantly fighting. We know what we want and we aren't afraid to go after it. It's funny, people will ask us why we are inseparable if all we do is fight. But despite the fact that we LOVE to fight, there is no one in the whole entire world I have more fun with or love more fully with my whole heart. She's my sister, duh.
Anyone with siblings I'm sure was told by their Aunts, Uncles, Parents, Grandparents, or any adult with an opinion that you would one day grow up to be best friends. Well as two girls who spent close to two decades at each others throats, literally we would kick the living daylights out of each other-I can't believe our parents put us in Gymnastics and golf instead of kickboxing-we shared the same interests, same group of friends, same space, and same hobbies. Naturally we would GO AT IT verbally and physically. When someone told us that one day we would get along, we would roll our eyes and think fat chance.
Then we lost our brother. You don't realize what your siblings mean to you until you lose one. I absolutely 100% didn't appreciate my sister or my brother as much as I should have. I took them for granted. If I would have known how quickly someone can be taken from you I would have done my entire life differently. I had two of the world's greatest gifts in my brother and my sister and I didn't understand that it could be taken away from me. I remember after Scott passed Samantha and I were trying to write the speech we were going to give at his funeral. I wanted to make some jokes and Sammy wanted a more serious tone. She flipped her lid and went screaming up the stairs and my Dad came out of his room and yelled, "Thank god! Something familiar!" And he came downstairs and we laughed and laughed because in the midst of this terrible awful thing we were beginning to endure, my sister and I fighting felt familiar. But at the end of the day even though we fight I really love and respect her. In fact, I'm sure I am too hard on her. I tend to hold people at an exceedingly high level and because I put her on this huge giant pedestal (because she is so god damn wonderful) I don't tell her how much I love and appreciate everything she does for me enough.
My sister is truly incredible and absolutely insane, but the type of insane I envy. She's silently fearless and wickedly smart. She's the complete polar opposite from me and I learn from her every single day. It was her idea to make my selfies from the NYC Half Marathon into a Buzzfeed article. She was the one that made me start this blog. She spent hours bouncing site titles back and forth and then copy editing my first dozen posts simultaneously helping me understand what works and what doesn't work. She is the first person to come screaming around the corner when I misuse "you're" or if I write a piece that doesn't have an engaging title. She's my marketing guru (She does the social media for The Knot) and she constantly puts me in situations I am to afraid to put myself in that will further my cause. Sammy is the first person to give me the constructive criticism I don't want to hear but then follow it up with constructive solutions. I wouldn't have this platform without her.
When I moved to New York we shared her 6'x10' room for 4 MONTHS! There aren't many people who would willingly live in a closet with their sister. She comes out in 30 degree temperatures to cheer for me in half marathons and she is my number 1 fan. I know this week has been hard for her because her birthday has been shadowed by my marathon so I want to take today to celebrate her because she deserves to have the world stop and acknowledge what a truly incredible bad ass she is. Without her I wouldn't have Run, Selfie, Repeat or my Run, Selfie, Repeat community, and I wouldn't be as happy, or have any of my happy memories growing up. She's my better half and my partner in crime and I refuse to imagine life without her. And despite my protests as the loud middle child, I really wouldn't ever trade her for a million bucks.
I truly believe you can't trust someone you can't fight with and I clearly trust Samantha with my life. Happy happy birthday to my incredibly cool, chic, and though I HATE to admit this (wiser) older sister. Thanks for being so awesome and so quick to go on adventures with me. I love you to the Moon and back again. Join me in wishing my groovy sister a happy, happy birthday. Until tomorrow friends, #RunSelfieRepeat.