Life Lessons Learned From My Older Sister

A few months ago Briana and her beautiful family came out to Seattle to visit us. I’ll have plenty more to share on that later in my Calhoun Family Backyard Session blog post to come, but right now I get the honor of dedicating time to my beautiful sister.

For those who may not know- Bri and I have quite an age difference, eight years. Growing up I was the annoying little sister who enjoyed using her clothes for fashion shows, tried to eavesdrop on her telephone calls and tattled at almost any given opportunity. She was the cool older sister who stayed out past curfew, got attention from all the boys and was musically talented beyond belief.

So in the spirit of taking a trip down memory lane, I thought I’d share a few life lessons learned because of my sister.

Hand-me-downs are cool

Especially if it’s some rare thrift shop find. I’ve always admired Briana’s ability to be able to pull together an outfit that I would never dream of on my own. Bri cleaning out her closet should be recognized as a national holiday.

When in doubt, always get the peach pizza from Johnny’s

Yes, I said peach pizza from Johnny’s Pizza. The sugary delicious puddle of goodness is perfect for any and all occasions. I was skeptical at first too, but it’s a game changer- just trust me on this one.

Alone time is good for the soul and sanity

Chanse, Briana and I are all people lovers but taking note from Bri- sometimes the best thing to do to recuperate is retreat to our own worlds. Music has been a huge part of Briana’s life ever since I can remember and in her alone time she writes beautiful songs, plays guitar/piano and has the voice of a Country/Indie angel. She inspires me to take time to myself to fulfill my creative needs and come back to my sanity.

Any reflective surface can be used as a mirror

Less serious but a great lesson learned early on…

Don’t take life too seriously

When describing my sister I’ve always used the term “free spirit”. Maybe less so now that she’s the wife of a kind loving man and mother of a beautiful baby girl, but if I could paint a visual representation: Briana is the ocean, I am a mountain. When I become rigid and anxious, I can always count on a conversation with her to bring me back to the reality of the situation that most things aren’t that big of a deal and a blatant reminder to relax.

Respect other people’s thoughts and decisions if you don’t see eye to eye

I often see things in black and white and struggle when others see gray. But as she’s pointed out, you can’t change a person’s mind for them and just because they don’t agree with you doesn’t make them wrong. This one can be tough to swallow, but it’s an area that I can grow in thanks to her.

Don’t be boastful, but don’t let your talent go to waste

After years of observing Bri and her musical career, I’ve never seen her boast in her talent yet she’s aware that she has a gift and tries to utilize it as much as possible. I think that’s something we all could work on. We should be proud of our abilities, use them to their full extent yet remember to stay humble.

Most things have changed as we’ve gotten older. Now I get the pleasure of sharing closets, receiving relationship advice and having hilarious nights out with my siblings. Regardless of time or distance, it’s a blessing to have her as a sister and a best friend who I can look to and learn from.

More to come,


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