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Open letter to my better half

| Friday, November 8, 2019

Renee Yaseen | The Observer

Dear Sister,

Yes, I am indeed writing about all I love about you in the old-fashioned letter-writing method. But wait, before you roll your eyes at me, did anyone else write you a letter through a column in a newspaper?

This idea has crossed my mind several times throughout the past couple of months. However, I would always toss it aside, too afraid of appearing vulnerable, too afraid of showing the world what it was that I genuinely and truly cared about. Funny enough, a couple of days ago you reminded me yet again that being vulnerable and putting yourself out there was in no way a sign of weakness.

I remember how not long ago every time we’d fight, my anger-driven self would look at Mom and say, “You just had to have another kid, right?!” I remember the times where you’d catch me wearing your clothes and threaten to never speak to me again if I didn’t take them off. You’d always let it go a few minutes later.

Now that I’m not there to steal your clothes or kick you out of my room, I can’t help but miss the little things about you. I miss your hugs. I miss the crazy weird nicknames you’d come up with for me. You always made sure they were on another level of cringe. Now I realize that no one can come up with nicknames even half as good as yours (people here are surprisingly not big fans of nicknames.)

I love how people look at our pictures and their automatic response is “Oh, so you’re twins!” Yes, we look exactly alike. Yes, the other day we were wearing the same exact outfit by pure coincidence. No, we’re not twins.

I love how whenever I go too long without texting you, you’ll leave a message or voicemail saying “Hi (insert cringey nickname here), just making sure you’re still alive!”

I love how whenever you go out, you’ll take pictures of my favorite spots back home and text something like “soon! :)” By the way, this countdown you’re doing for winter break is everything!

I love how you support my writing. Even when it’s 1 a.m. back in Lebanon and all you want to do is pass out on your bed, you’ll still wait for me to send you a draft of my column. You’ll read it word-for-word and give me your feedback. You always end your texts with “I’m proud of you.”

I love how you will randomly text me to remind me to smile. I love how when I’m having a bad day, you’ll keep reminding me of all that I can achieve. You have always cheered me on and celebrated even the smallest of my accomplishments.

I love how whenever anything remotely good happens during my day you are the first person I want to tell. My initial reaction is to pick up my phone and dial your number. I even sometimes wake you up in the middle of the night (oops!). You still listen to me talk about things that really wouldn’t change much in your life for a decent half-hour. I really don’t know how you do it.  

What I love most about you is that you keep me grounded. Whenever I feel overloaded and I feel anxiety catching up you always remind me that perfection does not equal happiness. You are the one who continuously reminds me to let go, to prioritize and to take a break. Although you’re the youngest, you’d be surprised by how much you’ve taught me. I am in awe of your spirit, your positive energy and your big, kind heart.  You remind me that worrying is normal. You remind me that being afraid is normal. You remind me of my favorite saying which I sometimes ironically forget, “Everything magical happens outside your comfort zone.”

As I look at the baby picture of us on my phone’s lock screen, all I can think of is that recent Instagram post you shared with me “Dear friend who lives far away, can you airdrop yourself to me please? I miss you.”


Your annoying older sister


PS: Stop wearing the clothes I left back home! Oh, and by the way, I love you.

Krista Lourdes Akiki is majoring in management consultancy and global affairs. Coming from Beirut, Lebanon, she always enjoys trying out new things and is an avid travel-lover. She hopes to take her readers on her journey as she discovers new lifestyles and navigates new cities. She can be reached at [email protected] or via Twitter @kristalourdesakiki.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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