Passing Down the Pom Poms. 

Growing up with a sister is basically having a servant, a best friend, and a number one fan by your side constantly and endlessly. So it’s every little diva’s dream. Lucky for me, I didn’t just get a sister, I got Callie. There is no one more agreeable in the entire world than that girl. She played with all the ugly Barbies, ate all the burnt chicken nuggets, and still smiled like she was just handed the key to the world. 

My Dad always tells the story that right before she came home from the hospital, he sat me down and told me it was time to step into the big sister role. He claims I maturely adjusted my personality and it was a perfect fit. What I really think happened was I learned that by being around Callie I could get more attention. Nonetheless, we became glued at the hip. The Kit to my Kat. The green vegetable to whatever was for dinner. The Dinks to my Baby (our childhood stuffed animals).

As she’s matured over the years, out of her skulls and punk rock phase into a more classic middle school era, so much is exactly the same as the brown eyed baby that changed my life fourteen years ago. Same sense of humor that leaves you teary-eyed and hunched over. Same scary level of maturity that makes college kids forget she’s actually still in middle school. Same love for our family and commitment to making people happy. Our closeness is one of the reasons going to college was so difficult. It created so many holes in my life I didn’t realize she’d been filling. And what sucks is that I know this will never get easier, it’s just part of growing up and accepting change. 

I can only imagine it being hard to live in the shadow of an older sibling, yet Callie’s never been one to follow exact footsteps. When she started gymnastics years ago I really thought that was the end of her living my same adventures. And while she created her own memories and gained skill and strength that continuously shames me into the gym, I always wished for her to experience high school the way I did from the 50 yard line, poms in hand, team of amazing girls by my side. 

When Callie decided to pause her gymnastics career and tryout for Poms this year it was really everything I could’ve asked for. After such hardwork, I’m proud to say I’ll get to swap places with my best friend and cheer her on from the sidelines. Warning: I’ll probably be bawling my eyes out.

Callie, you have such a strong, positive energy to you and I can’t wait to see you bring this to everything you conquer in life. This post is sounding more like a Bat Mitzvah speech than a funny, lighthearted tribute to you, but you’ve been asking for a post and I definitely owe you one. I’ve never doubted your ability to succeed, and I can’t wait to see you make this your own. Love every second of it, even when it’s miserable and painful, because it’s over so fast. Every high V, every turn, every C-Jump. You’re in for such an unforgettable ride. I’m so grateful you get to live this part of my journey. 

No, I’m not crying. I’m just allergic to my sister growing up. 

Stuck in my head: Superbass // Nikki Minaj
Snap it: National Gallery of Art, DC

Coach Kaleigh, if you see this, Callie is much funnier than me, but PLEASE don’t like her better. I still need your love. 

For Sarah…

16 is a weird age. On one hand you have this newfound self-declared independence that the SATS and driving bring, but on the other hand you basically still know nothing about anything. Life is standardized testing and late night talks with the friends that shaped your childhood. 

Let me just say at 16 I thought crack and marijuana were the same drug, so I’m a little more innocent than your average Samantha Baker (hellooo Sixteen Candles reference, duh). Buuuuut, I’ve learned a little more than proper drug classifications since the big 1-6. 

Let me give a little background here. Being part of a team in high school connects you to so many different people. I spent most of my time on poms being the mini-me, there were so many people to learn from and look up to. It wasn’t until my senior year I finally realized I had my own little buddy.

She’s bold and courageous and hopeful. She reminds me of my Taylor Swift days. She’s asked me for some advice over the months, and it’s really helped me reflect on my personal growth and appreciate all I’ve become. So this list is for her. I don’t have all the answers. Honestly I don’t have most of the answers. I’m still very much so learning, but here’s just a couple notes I’ve collected. Enjoy

1. No matter where you end up in life, with a positive attitude you can have it all. I know it’s so daunting, working towards college applications and acceptances, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. No matter where your path takes you if you go with good vibes and happy intentions you will always have the best time of your life.

2. Not every boy is the right boy and to be honest, you don’t really even need a boy. Teenage girls are so much stronger than they think they are. I had no idea the growing I had to do when I was 16- TBH I thought that if I had my license I had it all.

& It wasn’t until I started dating that kid named MC, (remember him?) that I started to understand how a relationship really worked. You have a find someone that builds you up constantly. But before you even get there you have to learn how to build yourself up first. Be your own best friend and find your best boyfriend later. He can wait, I promise.

3. School is really hard. There’s no fancy way of wording that, but it’s really important to remember that success comes in so many different forms. School might not be your strong suit, and I’m in no way saying you should not try and work really hard, but find a world where you shine. Everyone has the potential to be amazing at something. For me it’s giving advice I don’t usually follow myself and eating candy, for you it could be something you never imagined. Try it all and don’t be afraid to fail. You may be surprised by what you love.

4. There are so many people in the world.  Some friends will be there forever, from pitfalls to parties, others will disappear overnight and it will hurt and be confusing. Every relationship has something to teach you. Every person you meet can change who you are and help you become your best self. For me, some ends drive me to be the best version of myself, others are just memories that will always be worth it.

The most important thing to remember is that you never stop changing. I’ve learned a lot since 16 about independence and self positivity, but those are only two out of the thousands of lessons that are in store for me. Love every second of every experience. We’re all still kids, so let’s act like it.

Stuck in my head: Naive // The Kooks
Snap it: Union Market, DC