The Clothing Thief

I’ll always remember my beloved Gran describing my excitement the night my little sister was born. I was staying the night at Gran and Grandad’s house and was apparently “up and down like a yoyo” all night, repeatedly asking in anticipation if my baby sister was here yet in five minute intervals.

It is a fact that a girl’s little sister is her first best friend. We spent all our time together as kids; building huts, putting on little shows for our parents and going on adventures. Our imaginations played together nicely and our quarrels were always short lived.

She was the brains, I was the rule breaker. At two years old she was reading to me, and by three I had stuck her tongue in the tap. When I was about seven we created our own language. We were unique children; our favorite thing to do was reenact Cats the Musical. I still hope that one day (when I’m no longer pregnant and can cartwheel without breaking myself, my child and the furniture,) we will master the Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer dance.

I grew up to be a free spirited wild child. I left home at a young age, dropping out of high school and university. My sister, on the other hand, stayed home through her early teens and did what all good girls are supposed to do. This year, just before her eighteenth birthday, she took the big step of leaving the nest and now resides in a different city to study design. I can easily say it’s probably one of the proudest moments of my life.

Being born on the 29th of February means that my baby sister will always remain my “baby” sister. She’s off to college at, technically, four and a half years old. This means two birthdays each year, (celebrating the last day of February and the first day of March!) And double presents for extra- special “real” birthdays. So there really is no need to feel sorry for someone whose birthday only comes around every four years.

On the day she left I handed her an envelope. Inside it was my best steak recipe, a poem about making the most of each moment, and a list of big-sisterly advice, including a warning about boys with their cooties, hangover cures, and how to live comfortably  on the “student diet” of two minute noodles. Dear Lord, I hope she paid attention.

I’m not really meant to look up to my little sister. Being the role model is supposed to be my job. But I gotta say, if there’s anyone I’d want to be like, it’s her; from her calm, cool nature and patience, her intelligence, humor, and kick-ass style, right down to her floral Doc Martins. She’s pretty darn cool.

So for this month’s article on somebody who inspires me, here’s a quick few questions with my gorgeous sister before she gets back to studying or cooking mi goreng or whatever it is students do.

What is the best piece of advice you ever recieved, and who was it from?
“Love what is.” – Something our Mum taught me.

What is the best decision you ever made? The decision to be myself at all times.

If you could tell yourself five years ago just one sentence, what would it be? “Keep going.”

Name a book you have read that has made a difference to your life
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running- Haruki Murakami. It’s like a memoir by a writer I really like. His writing style changed the way I think about literature in general, and in this book his way of looking at life is influential, which is to just keep going. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

If you could take one thing back, what would it be?

Nothing at all?



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