This is my post that was featured on the the Big Bister blog. The feedback and support I’ve gotten from it have been wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
Making Oreo cupcakes—planning the recipe, grocery shopping and baking included.
Mind over matter. The early bird gets the worm. These are all sayings that we hear each day and often have lost their meaning. But there’s one saying I can get behind: be present, not perfect. As a recent newcomer to the blogging world, the temptation to strive for perfection over presence in my work is easy and can become all-consuming.
I try to be true to myself and channel this idea in my relationship with my little sister, Tatiana, as well. Being a big sister, I’m learning so much about myself and what it means to put your true self forwards every day.
Here’s my story of how I became a Big Sister and how I’ve learned that being present is more important than being perfect:
One of my personal goals of 2014 was to find a way to give back. In teaching (I’m a fifth grade teacher by day), time is a valuable and often fleeting commodity. Outside of the classroom, my time is often spent lesson planning, grading and even dreaming some nights about school. I knew I needed to find an opportunity where the time I spent volunteering was meaningful.
During the interview process to be come a Big Sister, I never imagined how fortunate I’d be to find a Little Sister like mine. As I gave each answer, I wondered if it was the right one or would it lead me to the right match—again striving for perfection instead of being present and trusting the process. A few months passed without a match, but that moment I met Tatiana I knew that trusting the process was the right thing to do.
In the beginning I was worried whether I would pick the right activities or whether we’d have something in common to talk about. Then I realized that just giving her my time is enough. She’s not worried about whether our visits don’t turn out exactly as planned, she just wants to have a shared experience.
Tatiana has taught me that it’s ok to let loose, do things just for fun and not worry about what others think. She writes poetry and then finds competitions to enter, talks about one of our visits to the Science Museum as the ‘best day ever’ and has dreams of being a pediatrician. In fourth grade, she’s certainly a forward-thinking young lady.
Here are some of the adventures we’ve been on—more to come! Did they all turn out perfectly? Certainly not! Did you know you can’t go rock climbing if you forget socks… but ice cream and getting our nails done was just as fun!
Seeing The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall (Tatiana plays violin and was so excited to see other city youth playing on a big stage)
When rock climbing doesn’t work, you grab ice cream and paint your nails blue (something I never would have done if Tatiana hadn’t suggested the color, but I ended up loving it)!
Ice skating on a spring-like day at Lars Anderson in Brookline.
Interested in being a Big Sister? Visit the Big Sister of Boston website for more information.