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8 Pieces of Advice for My Sister As I Turn 40

03/03/2015 05:50 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2015
Kendra Alvey

I turned 40 yesterday. Whoa, that was crazy to type. Let me do that again. Yesterday I turned 40 (ahhhhhh!) and it's possible I might be feeling a tad mushy because I keep thinking of life tips for my younger sister, Crystal (or as I call her, Pistol). You see, we're all about March birthdays in my family. For my sister's entire life, she's had to patiently sit through my birthday each year to get to her own two weeks later. The closeness in our birthdays means I'm almost exactly three years older, which I think makes me uniquely qualified to give her advice. (That and because I'm super bossy.)

If I'm turning 40, that means she's about to be 37, which sorta makes my brain hurt like I'm hungover or I've been staring at that blue-black-white-gold dress photo too long. And, while I know I wasn't the worst big sister in the world, I can't remember ever sitting her down and having a sister-to-sister talk about important stuff like sex or getting your period or why you should never date frat boys named Todd. But, better late than never, right? So, for Crystal Pistol and all the other little sisters out there, here are 8 Pieces of Advice for My Sister as I Turn 40.

1. Trust yourself. Look, I think you have excellent judgment and I know everything so there. If there's something you feel strongly about, do that. And if you're ever in doubt and I'm not around to tell you how awesome you are, think back on your life. Everything you've ever done has worked out. You've handled everything life has thrown at you so far and you always will.

2. Don't do anything to your perfect, pretty face. Not yet, anyway. And, not that you would even consider that. But, the thing is, it will cross your mind eventually, even if fleetingly. And if you decide to, that's fine. It's a personal decision and I'm all for women doing whatever they need to do to feel confident. But, I've watched my face change over the last few years and even though I wouldn't say I always love what's happening (Where did my cheeks go? Someone needs to put out an Amber Alert on my missing cheeks!), I will say that I love seeing myself change and age. And I've accepted how I look in this moment, right now. Just promise me you'll give it a second (meaning a year or two or three) before you decide to inject it or pull it or whatever it.

3. Do not, under any circumstance, be PMS-ing the week leading up to your fortieth. I would strongly advise against this. I'm not trying to scare you. Turning 40 isn't that bad. It's a piece of cake! Well, it's a piece of gluten-free vegan cake with kale frosting, but it's still not the end of the world. Just make it easier on yourself by not PMS-ing that week. How do you do that? I have no idea. I'm not a scientist; I write lists and stuff.

4. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself, cut him or her out of your life. I know, I know, this is pretty trite. You've probably seen this piece of advice on Facebook. No doubt one of mom's friends posted something like this with, like, a photo of three little girls dressed as sunflowers sitting under a rainbow. But, girl, it's true. Surround yourself with people who make you feel like Beyoncé, not Eeyore.

5. Before you decide to date someone, ask yourself if you'd let me date them. Is he good enough for your sister? Fine, then, go ahead. If not, onto the next one. I mean, people fall in love with you in line at the grocery store. I think it's safe to say there will always be fish in the sea, little sister. Don't waste your precious time on an unworthy fish. And, now I'm craving sushi.

6. Never ever put yourself down to other people. Or to yourself. You might think you're bonding with a friend when you say, "Ugh, I hate my thighs," or "Hey, is my face starting to look a little like George Washington's?" (OK, you would never say that last one but I soooo did once.) But, all you're doing is making yourself feel bad and opening the door for your friend to do the same.

7. Wear what you want to wear. I thought that since I'm turning 40, maybe I should stop wearing concert tees and big black boots all the time. But, you know what? I am who I am. Just because I'm older doesn't mean I need to start wearing pastel twin sets. While I'm not saying to go out and rock a micro-mini with a Hello Kitty crop top, I think you should always be true to your style, because your style is awesome.

8. Never be afraid to admit your real age. I'm 40. So what? I earned this number. And I didn't waste a second of those years. I traveled, I took risks, I made mistakes and once or twice (or maybe 50 times, I don't know), I partied my face off. Be proud of who you are and how long you've been that amazing woman. Enjoy the last three years of your thirties, Pistol. And when you turn 40, maybe you could give me some advice, like, "Hey, don't party your face off."