Today is my sister, Ana’s, birthday.
At this moment, Ana is backpacking her way through Bolivia and Chile—making her dreams of traveling the world come true one country at a time.
She’s capturing each place through her Canon camera, making albums of memories that are rooted in deep-seated childhood dreams of adventure and the search for meaning. “It all comes back to God,” she’s told me.
Next week, she’ll be giving out food and school supplies to children that live in the slums of Santa Ana, Bolivia–a personal initiative since 2010. This year, she decided to publicize the project online for the first time, so if you’d like to contribute, click here.
So yeah, she’s alright I guess. 😛
The truth? I miss her.
Below are just a FEW reasons I am grateful for my sister and bestest best friend. You can call this post a general love letter to all sisters. Happy Birthday Banana!
1. First things first, a soundtrack for this post.
If Ana were a song, she’d be “Apertura” from The Motorcycle Diaries soundtrack. Click to make it stick. 🙂
2. Childhood, circa 1998.
Me, laying on the couch watching Boy Meets World and being the angel that I always am. 😛
From the other side of the room Ana suddenly lunges at me as she yells: “Who wants a pizza topping???!!”
A look of horror crosses my face and I immediately begin to shriek in a high-pitched voice that only dogs can hear.
Ana: “Who wants pepperoni???!!” She jumps on top of me and proceeds to squash me with all her might.
Me: “Mamiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!” (Translation: “Mom!” with added exclamation points to accurately express the depth of my suffering).
Ana: “Maybe some green peppers???!!!!!” Squash, Squash.
Years later, I would become the ultimate pizza topper and she, the defenseless dough.
3. I had a cool older sister (a senior!) in high school who took me (a freshman!) to all my classes during my first day of school–just so I would feel more comfortable.
A few days later, the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. I felt safe knowing she was with me.
Four years after that, she took me on a tour of the college campus we both attended. Once again, she was a cool senior looking out for her little sister.
No one ever asked her to do these things, that’s just the kind of person she is.
4. One of our many inside jokes as fully-matured adult women was pretending to be Forrest and Jenny from Forrest Gump and reciting the following lines from memory:
5. College experience= lots of indie concerts paid with her credit card.
“Live concerts are, like, so amazing. The 9:30 Club is by far the best venue in DC and has the best sound,” we would say while wearing skinny jeans and straightening our latest emo haircuts.
The turning point? P.O.D. in concert. Not an indie band, I know, but we wanted to give everyone a fair chance.
The members of the band wore prison uniforms buttoned up to their necks, the bassist was a really small man who tried to look meanly at the crowd, and the music was awful. After two songs, we stood there, wide-eyed and turned to each other for affirmation that it was time to go.
“The 9:30 Club is not so great for everyone, after all,” we laughed as we drove back home.
5 years later.
Ana: “I’m still paying for those.”
6. Moving Diaries
“I have the perfect name for this hallway,” I say as I carry a moving box along the sweltering corridor that leads to her apartment.
Me: “Satan’s armpit.”
Ana. “I like it.”
7. Game of Clothes
Me: “Do you recognize this outfit?” I twirl dramatically.
Ana: “Yes, because it’s my shirt! And my scarf! AND I GAVE YOU THOSE JEANS!!”
Me: “It is LITERALLY the same outfit you wore on your last trip. If people were to look at your pictures and then mine, they would say…’I’ve seen this somewhere before.'”
Ana: “You look REALLY GOOD, no joke. Here, take my jacket, it goes with the outfit. OH MY GOD, YOU LOOK SO GOOD.”
I love you Banana, have the most amazing birthday ever. 🙂
Let me know, what makes your sister special?