MY FIRST TIME RECOGNIZING THE POWER OF BEING A ROLE MODEL
“When I was 10 years old, my parents were working full-time, so it was just my sisters and I. Things really clicked for me that I have to be a leader and I have to guide my sisters in the right direction. That was a big thing, and that’s when I realized I had to grow up and be responsible and be ready to be this important person in two smaller versions-of-me lives.
“There’s a five- and seven-year gap between my sisters and I, so I was a third parent for a really long time. I really fully honed in on that third parent role, but I don’t regret it at all. I feel like I was a very important person in my sisters’ lives and I still am. Now they’re tall and adults, and just being able to watch that, it warms my heart. I cry on their birthdays every year. Just watching them grow up is like, ‘Oh my god, I remember when I was changing diapers at an age that I was too young to be changing diapers.’ Seeing them grow up and make good choices makes me feel like I did a really good job, even though I’m not their mom.
“[Now, when it comes to social media,] I wouldn’t do anything I wouldn’t want my sisters doing. I feel like I keep things very PG and well educated through everything. It comes second nature now—it’s not a job or a chore, it’s just me being myself, just what I have pre-programmed already.”