Happy Birthday Galina!

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Today I'm celebrating probably the greatest influence and role model in my life: my older sister Galina.

All my life, people have told me I am just like her. At times, especially when I was younger, this made me feel so special; at times, it also intimidated me, and yet at other times, I thought, I can't be that bad. But it's true; we both share a fiery personality, a love for people, and a strong work ethic. So I suppose I should say, each of these traits I have, I got from her.

I can't remember all of it, but I know Galina had a huge part in raising me. The legend goes that one night, I went into my mom's room and declared, "Mom, you're my other mom!" My mom asked, "Really? Who's your first mom?" And I simply said "Galina." So, clearly we've been thick as thieves since day one.

When I think about her throughout my life, I think of two things: us butting heads, and her spoiling me. Both things, all the time. I think now we realize that we will inevitably butt heads because we share so many qualities, so it doesn't happen as much. But the spoiling still happens, to my delight! Galina took me to get my first manicure, my first blow-out, my first facial, my first professional haircut(s), did my hair and make-up for all my high school formals, and many a shopping trip in between.

She went away to college when I was about nine, but still remained an older sister figure in my life. I got to attend her graduation at Syracuse with my parents, and the nights I spent with her in her dorm made me feel like the absolute coolest. About ten years later, she was at my graduation here in Nashville. Throughout high school, she was there for races, performances, and those special sister nights in whatever apartment or house that she lived in at the time. I miss those! Although they've evolved into wine and cheese night, whenever we can swing it. I would also like to take this moment to say that I have been her right hand LITERALLY every single time she's moved in her whole life.

Like I described with my middle sister, Carina, I am so thankful for the relationship I have with Galina now. She truly is one of my greatest confidants, someone I know I can call with anything! She gives good advice regarding, pretty much anything, and I have the comfort of knowing that the advice is backed with a fierce sisterly love. Now that I'm older, I feel like we have a mutual respect, but still with an air of "protective-older-sister". But it has certainly balanced out, I mean, she's not coming home from college anymore and telling my 7th grade self that I'm not allowed to wear make-up.

So, happy, happy birthday Galina! I love the time we spend together, and I am immensely thankful for a wise, trail-blazing, hilarious, loving older sister like you! We are all celebrating you today!!

And this marks the grand finale of writing birthday posts for each of my immediate family members! Every time I started writing one, I was instantly overwhelmed at how exactly to capture each person, and what they mean to me. I always felt intimidated, and sometimes like I didn't do them justice. Though it was a challenge, I am so happy I did it! Each member of my family has had such an impact on my life; and I wanted to do my very best to let them know that.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed about writing something, I always tell myself that getting started and writing something will be an improvement over writing nothing at all. So, it's definitely an accomplishment as a writer to start chipping away at my family memories, something I have considered really writing about many times before. Thank you for reading these posts, giving me feedback, and sharing your similar memories with me!

You can read the rest of the birthday posts here: Carina // Dad // Mom // Sundar // Amir & Tarif // Coren 


Isabella said...

This is such a sweet series of posts :) I can appreciate that it's difficult to sum up your relationship with someone who means so much to you in just a few paragraphs, and the hardest part of writing is starting, but you've managed to create lovely portraits of your family members. It's been fun reading about your unique, funny, and heartwarming memories. You guys are a great team!


Lauren @ Exploring My Style said...

Galina sounds like an amazing big sister to have!! Growing up and learning things is hard. I'm sure having a big sister who had the chance to experience it not long before you helped you get all the answers you needed. Does she come back to the Bay for holidays and stuff so you can see each other then?

Alexandra Zakharova said...

Happy birthday to your elder sister, it's really great to have somebody who so close to you. Take a good care of each other, to have such a wonderful sister is really precious:)
Besides, those snapshots are so lovely! Both of you look so sweet and joyous, you are the image of your sister, indeed.
Just started to follow you with GCF and on Bloglovin', hope you can follow me back;)
Have a fabulous time!

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

This is so sweet! Happy birthday to your sister! :)

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely post. I think I've said before but these posts always make me jealous of being an only child! Sounds like you have a really wonderful family life and an amazing group of people around you xxx

Anonymous said...

Oh and a big happy birthday to your sister from me! (A random person she has never met)

Ash @ The Nashvillian said...

I love that you do these for all of your family members - it's so special! Like your sister, I went away to college when my younger sister was 9. It's nice to hear your perspective as the younger sister. :)

Priya said...

thank you Isabella, that means so much!

Priya said...

she actually lives/works at Santa Clara University, so she's always around at home, for the most part! thanks Lauren!

Priya said...

Oh she appreciates it :) thank you sweet Laila!

Priya said...

Thanks Ashley! It's been somewhat of a challenge for me, but I'm so glad I did it! I'm sure your sister totally adores you as well.

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