I’m a little sister and the only daughter in my family. My big brother is my idol. We have the sort of relationship that is mocked for being too movie-family cliche. The only fight we’ve ever had involved me punching him in the stomach, me running wildly away, me locking myself in a room, some door banging and the anti-climatic finale of us using a poster to hide the foot size hole in the door, that very much resembled my own 7.5 shoe size. He’s never been that overly protective type who chases guys away, but with friends like his, I never totally dodged that bullet anyways.

But I’m fiercely protective. Ian is the more strong silent type of the two of us. He’s kind and unbelievably smart and hogged all the hereditary good looks of our gene pool. Yet, when we were in grade school, his confidence wavered and I will never forget the immense pain I felt at the idea that he was hurting in any way. I was that little sister that unabashedly told my brother’s first crush that he liked her because I knew how great of a catch he was, despite his own blindness. I’d do anything in my power to make my brother safe and happy.

Now, in our twenties, (him shockingly close to the big 3.0.), I don’t need to worry about him. He recently bought his first condo with his girlfriend of 9 years, has a job that suits him better than I could ever have dream for him and he’s still casting an unavoidable shadow on his little sister – One I’ve never resented or been embarrassed of. I’m so proud of Ian.

I’m always going to be that little sister that worships her big brother. He doesn’t know the extent at which I care for him or the height of the esteem I hold him to. He is a best friend that I have the solidity of blood to be tied with. He’s the older sibling that I can look up to every day of my life and aspire to be. He has been, and always will be the immovable rock that founds all my own strength. It’s through Ian that I’ve developed my strongest attributes and with him that I’ve grown. My hardest moments will forever be softened in memory by his never waning presence and I owe him more than I could ever word.

As part of this years commitments, I’m learning to appreciate and recognize with no subtly the amazing people and things in my life. I can gush, I can brag, and I can let myself just smile. Smile at the fortune I’ve acquired in people that make my life greater than I deserve.

So grateful. So happy.

Cheers to a year of keeping track.