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  1. ‘chase life not likes’

Just like everyone else who has a facebook account, I worry about how my photos and statuses are received. If I was pretty, lots of people would like my pictures. If I was cool, lots of people would like my status. Some girls have 200 likes on their profile pictures, I only have 10. Does that mean they’re more beautiful? Does that mean I don’t have friends?

Ella is a down to earth girl, and when I was younger (and sometimes now) I cared so much about social media, and thought that a ‘popular’ account directly correlated to acceptance and my personal value. She has reminded me through the years to get off the computer and chase experiences, not the filter that will make me look cooler. Social media isn’t real, and once you realise that life becomes more simple and rewarding.

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  1. ‘you smell like rotten biscuits’

I had a phase of wearing bottled tan, which I thought made me sexy and alluring. Finally, Ella took a good deep sniff and told me I smell like biscuits that have gone off. We all need someone who can be honest with us from time to time, and make us take a shower before heading into class when our hair is greasier than a fish finger sandwich.

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  1. ‘how lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’

Travelling, moving to uni, moving to Spain… I find these big life changes difficult and feel like the ground has disappeared beneath me sometimes. My big sister told me  that the pain you feel when things are changing is a testament that you’re doing things right, and instead of mourning the past you can be thankful that you’ve been nailing it.

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  1. ‘absolutely not’

I tend to think that it’s my fault when someone hurts me. The best thing about a big sister is that they won’t forgive someone who has done you wrong, even if you’re too uncertain to see that for yourself. When someone says something to me that I know I wouldn’t tell Ella, it’s time to move on and say goodbye… Because if I’m not telling her its because I know that it is cruel and I’m not ready to unleash her vengeance on the unsuspecting class mate with a chip on their shoulder.

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  1. ‘I love you’

And finally, your big sister knows you more than anyone else. You share the same upbringing, the same memories and even the same bedroom in our case. That was until she hit 12 and started sleeping on the playroom sofa in peaceful protest (until mum and dad got the message and moved her bed downstairs.)

When your sister can look past every mistake you’ve made, every time you’ve thrown a tantrum and been unreasonable, it gives you a sense of acceptance second to none. She knows the very worst of me and she’s still on my team, which helped me understand that I am worth loving just the way I am.

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