When You Give A Girl A Sister

Growing up, I never understood it when women I knew said their sister was their best friend.

My sister, who is four years younger than me, was a pain in my ass. She was loud, sometimes obnoxious, and liked to stir the pot. For the entirety of the time we lived in the same house, we butted heads. We spent a minimal amount of time together, and when we did we were likely arguing.

It probably goes without saying, but I didn’t consider her my best friend. I’m not even sure I considered her a friend for a short stretch of time. People always told my mom it would get better once we were older, but I can’t say I was sold on that. I doubt she was either.

When I graduated and moved to Alexandria, then Kate decided to go to college here, I don’t think either one of us was thrilled. We both wanted our own life and didn’t want the other to impose on that. I don’t think either one of us expected what the next two years would bring for our relationship.

Being away from home — home as in the home where we grew up — was hard sometimes. Kate and I have both struggled with that over the past two years. So we did the natural thing: we found a piece of home in each other. As time passed, we began spending more and more time together. We hung out at the other’s home, we ate meals together, we had work dates together. We realized that living in the same town meant we had each other. We realized it meant we could be friends.

The past two years have brought more growth to our relationship than I ever could have imagined. Growing up, it was difficult for me to talk to Kate about serious topics or things I was concerned about. Today she is one of the first people I turn to. We both have struggled with anxiety over the past two years, but somehow never at the same time. This means we’ve been able to be there for the other when things got bad.  

Today was bittersweet. Today I watched my badass, loud, obnoxious sister become a police officer. As I watched her sassy self walk across that gymnasium and accept her badge, I teared up. I won’t deny that. This feeling of pride overwhelmed me. I’ve watched my sister work her ass off for two years. She’s proven herself in a male-dominated field. She’s poured so much effort into the academic side of her degree, which I know hasn’t always come easily for her. She’s taken every ounce of sasshole attitude in her and made it work in her favor.

But I won’t lie. Today I was a little sad, too. I was sad for a selfish reason: Today I watched my best friend leave her home here. She’s no longer a quick text or phone call away, and that devastates me. I’d keep her here forever if I could.

But she has dreams to chase, so I can’t. I knew this day was coming.I was prepared. So I’m choosing to let my pride overshadow my sadness.

And just in case you were wondering…yes, today I’m one of those women who can say my sister is, without a doubt, my best friend.

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