If there’s anyone in the world who know me like the back of their hand, it would be my younger brother. I think I’ve said this more times than I could count — I mean, everyone has to know this by now: he is my everyday inspiration. Is that odd? To have someone three years younger than you being your inspiration? I don’t think so, simply because he is.
Here’s a letter to my younger brother. Basically, a letter to my younger self and everything I wish I knew, thought I knew, didn’t do and did. Everything I wish I knew now, or at least how to make now less scary.
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Hey, little brother.
How are you? Is school going well this year, honestly? I feel like I ask you this often and you always say good.
We’re both sophomores this year. I wonder which one of our years is going better. I remember sophomore year vividly. A lot more than any other year. I remember it being the hardest year, the one I hated most. I remember not liking a lot of things that year, but mostly I remember how much I lost myself.
Are you feeling how I felt? How could you feel what I felt? You’re only 15; you can’t even drive yet. But I know how I felt. And that scares me too.
Do you have bad thoughts? About yourself and what would happen if you weren’t here?
Do you think about what life would be like if you lived it differently?
I hope not. If there’s anything you can get out of this year, I hope you don’t feel that way. I hope you don’t feel how I did.
Do you wish you were someone different?
Someone that people would like more?
Do you know what it’s like to feel heartbreak? Have you gone through that already? I thought I knew what it was that year. Apparently, I was really wrong.
I don’t want you to feel how I felt. Because I never liked what I felt that year.
Did you notice the things that changed about me?
How I wore long sleeves and sweatshirts almost every day? Even when the sun was warmer in May than it had been in June?
Or how I’d sit around at dinner until everyone was done and then I’d get up too, and pretend I was finished even though my plate was still full?
Or how I forgot what it was like to smile, or what it was like to be excited? Probably not; I learned to hide a lot of things that year.
Do I need to explain what these things meant? Do you understand what I felt or should I explain that? I don’t want to. I still don’t like to talk about it. But I will for you if you want me to.
Please don’t feel what I felt too.
I’m scared because I’m not there right now. No one picked up on what I was feeling, so who is there to look out for you?
You’re my baby brother; I feel disconnected when I’m not there with you. Your birthday is coming up soon and I remember how happy I was when I turned 16. How I felt like a new leaf had been turned and a new year was the only thing allowing me to move on.
And I’m sad that I’m not sure if I’ll get to be there this year. You’re turning 16, how special is that? Will you be mad at me if I’m not there for your birthday? I hope not.
These are the things I wish I knew, I hope you know now, I hope you’ll never feel.
Winter is dark. It gets darker and feels darker each year. But then spring comes around and the birds sing exactly how you feel.
Nothing is worth destroying yourself over. Things pass, days pass, time passes. Nothing is permanent and neither is the feeling of being alone no matter how permanent it feels.
I don’t know how much advice I can give; this wasn’t meant to be a sad letter.
These are things I wish I knew.
You will hate your friends on certain days but you’ll love them twice as much later on. And in return, you’ll think your friends hate you but I promise they don’t. They wouldn’t be your friends if they did.
You’ll think that no one understands what your wants are but eventually, someone will get it. That’s a promise too.
These are things I want you to get, these are things I don’t ever want you to feel.
I don’t want you to feel like you have no one to talk to.
I don’t want you to think school is too big of a struggle for you to get through.
I don’t want you to feel like you have no other options.
There are things I don’t want you to feel or think and there are things I don’t want you to experience.
I don’t want you to think your friends hate you during sophomore year because you don’t feel like talking to anyone for a few days.
I don’t want you to overload yourself with school and work junior year forgetting who you are again.
I don’t want you to sit alone at lunch senior year because your friends think you ruined prom. I don’t want you to feel anything I felt because, simply put, it sucked.
These are things I don’t want to experience, but surprisingly, there are things I do want you to go through.
I want you to feel so happy and know it’s all because of you and your hard work.
I want you to be proud of getting as far as you’ve gotten.
I want you to be in love or feel like you are in love and really think you are because nothing beats that feeling.
I want you to get through your first heartbreak and know there’s going to be five more after that that feel worse than the last but at least you got through it. At least you got to feel that.
I want you feel happy all the time even if I know you can’t. Because you have to feel sad to know what it’s like to feel happy.
So really, baby brother, I hope you’re doing good. Because you’re my whole world bundled into one person and I’ve never looked up to someone so much.
I’ll give you a call later on.
I hope this was able to help you the way I wish it helped me.
I hope you feel some of this but definitely not all.
See you in some time.