Iris is a badass in so many ways. The fact that she likely wouldn’t use the word “badass” to describe herself makes me want to scream it to the rooftops — like the proudest, obnoxious-est biggest sister ever.
I don’t even know where to start with this woman. She’s got unparalleled brain capacity, and seems to constantly be thinking about things at a high level. I sometimes wish I could crawl inside her head, or hear a play-by-play of her inner dialogue. Many times, when she shares with me, it feels like she has already examined, dissected, picked apart (and mostly pieced back together) her thoughts and ideas, making her convictions strong and sound and grounded and refined. This approach to self and life-analysis to me has hints of a scientific approach, and the fact that she has chosen to go back to school for engineering makes me confident she’ll be able to harness the thinking skillz she’s developed her Whole Life Long like the rockstar – badass – goddess – all of the above – she is.
Speaking of rockstar: Iris is really good at music. She played violin and clarinet while growing up, and has an understated but killer singing voice. At some point in college, Iris picked up a guitar and had this miraculous emergence, a couple years later, as a woman armed with a whole fleet of chord structures and songs at her fingertips. Yes, she picked it up pretty easily, but she also worked steadily and methodically to develop the skills she’s acquired. Her deep understanding of how hard work yields results is a constant reminder to me to not give up when the going gets tough.
Piggybacking on all that: Iris impresses me deeply with her dedication to living a life with the foundation of a growth mindset. She not only taught herself to play the guitar, but also taught herself to question her limiting beliefs; to erase the fixed-mindset “I’m good at this and not good at that” structures she understood as true in her younger years, and instead embrace an approach of “I’m not good at this, so I’m going to work hard to get better.” I’ve been around for five more spins around the sun than she, and am still trying to shut up those snarky voices that tell me to quit, rather than persevere, when I don’t have an instant affinity toward (or receive initial affirmation about) whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish. She’s wired those neural pathways to keep her humble and realistic, but also confident and persistent and brave.
I truly do believe Iris can – and will – achieve anything she puts her mind to. Iris, it’s an honor to be your big sister, a Beckman Lippert partner-in-crime. You are one of my favorites to dissect people with, to do crosswords with, to sing silly songs with, and yes, to get in arguments with. You challenge me to speak my truth, you push me to be my best self, you inspire me to clarify my beliefs and opinions. I’d say you are my favorite Gemini, but we all know what you think about astrology (how about “my favorite enneagram 5,” can I go there? 😉 ). So instead, I’ll just say: thanks. For your bright thinking mind, and also for your soulful connectedness. For your creativity and your melancholy alike; your brewing and stewing and agonizing and ruminating, and your playfulness and generosity, too. You are a caring friend, a loving companion, a compassionate leader and exuberant learner. Can’t wait to continue to grow and goof around with you for years to come.
Please choose a charity, cause, foundation, whatevs suits you, as I will be making a donation on your behalf.