12 Things I Want My Younger Brother To Know
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12 Things I Want My Younger Brother To Know

Bubs, take some advice from your older sister. I know things.

12 Things I Want My Younger Brother To Know
Trinity Tew

Bubba, I love you. From the day I found out mom and dad were pregnant with you, my five-year-old self loved you with everything in me. I remember holding you after you were born, holding you before mom even, and I promise you smiled at me. You knew you were loved. I remember feeding you your bottle, holding your hand as you learned to walk, making you repeat words as you learned to talk, going to your first baseball and soccer games, going to your first school performance, and just overall watching you grow up into a fine little man. Well, not little, you're bigger than me. You are my man child, I hope you know that. But over your twelve, almost thirteen, years I have learned some things I want you to know. I learned them the hard way, so maybe I can save you some heartache.

1. Know your abilities.

Trinity Tew

You do NOT give yourself enough credit. Bubba, you are incredible. I mean, whole package kinda kid. And you are way more capable than you think. Convinced you're actually smarter than me... but I'm definitely more athletic. Sike. I honestly want to be like you when I grow up. Now, I know that neither of us have been fond of the people who know they're hot stuff because it comes across and stuck-up and cocky. However, there is a difference between being cocky and being confident. And you need to have a certain level of confidence in order to be successful. When you know your abilities, you perform better, always strive to get a new PR, become better, then feel more confident, which keeps the cycle continuing. And just ask your girlfriend, confidence is attractive. But not cockiness. You need to be humbly confident, which you should have no problem with because you are very humble. Knowing your abilities is also a good way to assess where you need to improve. If you know what you're good at, you also know what your not-so-good at. My prayer for you is that you grow to learn just a little bit of how awesome you are.

2. You never know until you try.

Trinity Tew

I know you've heard this from dad a million times over. But honestly... you never know until you try. You can't get an answer without asking a question. You can't get results without doing something. Try it... as long as it is responsible, mister. But don't be afraid to ask that question, taste that food, do that thing that you're scared of. I don't want you to live your life being timid. I want you to experience life. I would have never known I love sports if I didn't try basketball in sixth grade. And you wouldn't have learned that you like long boarding if you didn't get on one and fall a few times. Just because it might be intimidating or scary doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. In fact, I challenge you to try at least one new thing each week.

3. You can only do what you can do.

Trinity Tew

You know me because you lived with me for twelve years. I LOVE to be able to control things and do it all. I know you remember when I played three sports and was on the honors track, then when I started having chronic migraines but still expected myself to be able to do everything I used to do. You know how I get. But, life happens and things change, we can never go backwards, only forwards. Maybe not yet, but you WILL get to a point in your life, or be in a certain situation, when you want to be able to do it all. You'll feel the need to stretch yourself in a million different directions so that you are spread so thin if you were butter you wouldn't be able to taste you on bread. And no matter how much you disagree or try to convince yourself otherwise, you're a lot like your cool big sis. You will have at least one moment like that. I don't want you to feel the overwhelming stress that I did, and still do sometimes, when it comes to this. Remember that you are only human. You only have two arms. There is only twenty-four hours in a day. Your brain can only process so much at a time. And your body can only handle so much exertion. I know I hype you up and tell you you're superhuman because to me, you are way smarter and more capable than I ever will be. But you are only human. Just remember that when moments like this come, you can only handle so much. Think of your mental, spiritual, and emotional health first. And know that you'll just have to let some things drop.

4. Don't be disappointed when your plans change.

Trinity Tew

Even though you're young, you have dreams and goals. I know that because I did at your age. And I would expect nothing less than the greatest of goals from you because you are more than capable of achieving them. But know that life will happen and plans will change. I was planning on graduating with honors, college credits, and an athletic scholarship, but ended up graduating with a regular diploma, having no college credits, and only getting a smaller merit scholarship. I was devastated, and I know you remember, because I can still get sour about it. My plans changed, and I really didn't have a whole lot of control over it. And that's usually how it is- our plans change because of something out of our control. However, there are times when our goals simply change over time. We learn new things or our goals evolve and what we once wanted is no longer what we want now. That's OKAY! That doesn't mean you didn't "stick with it" or that you must just be wishy-washy and can't make up your mind. Once again, it means you're human. We SHOULD change, because that means we're working on ourselves and improving. So when your plans change, don't fret, just go with the flow.

5. Celebrate your victories, big or small.

Trinity Tew

Most of your victories are going to be big because you're just that cool. But even the small things are important. When you got second place in your division for a math tournament, I was celebrating with you, from a distance (at school). When your football coaches told you they noticed your hard work and skills and wanted to change your position to better help the team, I was SO proud of you. But you need to learn to celebrate your successes too. I know it's hard for you. It's hard for me too. We have a difficult time with acknowledging our accomplishments because we don't think they're all that great. But something I've learned is that when I celebrate and reward myself for my victories, that positive feedback reinforces my desire to strive to become even better. With the exception of me and our parents, you won't always have support. There won't always be someone on your team. The sooner you learn to encourage yourself through this, the more successful you will become.

6. Learn the patterns you live in.

Trinity Tew

We all have patterns. I know that personally, when I get stressed I start internalizing, keep things to myself, lash out, load more responsibility onto myself, then eventually I just fall apart. It's a terrible cycle that I am working on. But it took a while for me to recognize it. Recognition is the first step. You often might need the help of someone else to help you see the patterns. Choose someone you trust who is around you a lot and ask them to hold you accountable. Tell them to point out the patterns you have, both good and bad. Either way, then you'll know what to work on and what to continue doing. Not all patterns are bad- many can be productive. But just be sensitive and look for those things because they can be very helpful in life.

7. Admit when you need help.

Trinity Tew

Remember how I said you're only human? Yep. Humans need other humans. It's part of life. We can't do it all. We need help sometimes. In fact, collaboration can often be very beneficial in a multitude of different situations. But know when you need help. It doesn't matter if it's understanding your science class, getting a gift for someone, or needing help sorting through your emotions. We all need help in EVERY aspect of our lives at some point or another. And asking for help doesn't mean you're weak. It means you're strong enough to know the extent of your abilities and know when you just can't do it all. It takes a strong person to admit they need help, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. Criticism isn't personal.

Trinity Tew

Oh, baby brother. You and I are WAY too similar in this aspect. Not saying I'm perfect at it now, but it took over five years for me to at least understand this, if not believe it. One important thing to mention though is that there will be people who bully you in the disguise of criticism. Learning to judge this is difficult, but trust your instincts when you feel like you're being bullied. But in general, criticism is constructive. It's a form of accountability. If you don't know you're doing something wrong, or how you're doing it wrong, you can't fix it. If someone is bold enough to tell you that, they care about you enough to want to help you get better. It's a form of love. Criticism is nothing about who you are, it's about what you could do better. I know you always strive to be better, that's just who you are. Criticism is just other people caring enough to let you know something you can work on. They're not judging you for being human and making mistakes, they're loving you by saying, "Hey, you could work on this. Let's figure it out together." This is SO difficult to learn, but once you do, it saves so much time and effort. In fact, it drives you to be better, faster rather than dwelling on what they said.

9. Know why you believe what you believe.

Trinity Tew

Peer pressure. Bubba, it's real. It's harsh and it's unforgiving. If you comply, you might become someone you don't recognize. If you resist, you're labeled as a "goody goody" and always have a hard time fitting in. It's a lose-lose situation honestly. You are a strong person, I have always recognized and appreciated that. But it will get harder, because life gets harder. The easiest way to resist peer pressure that you know is negative is to know why you believe what you believe. We all believe certain things, have certain ideas about different things, and hold certain views on different topics. But why do you believe those things? What is your evidence, proof, reasoning? Is your belief valid with substantial reasons? If your beliefs couldn't hold up in court, reevaluate what you believe. This goes with anything, not just religious or political topics. Why do you believe it's important to brush your teeth? Can you back that up? If you don't know WHY you believe something, you just know you believe it, knowing you, you probably just read that "they say" somewhere on Google. I'm kidding, but for real, know why you believe what you believe. If you have valid reasons, it is easier to say "no." Be grounded in your beliefs.

10. Seriously, choose your friends wisely.

Trinity Tew

This is such a cliché thing to say, I know. And you are SO like me in this aspect that I don't worry much. We both are of the mindset that if you don't put in effort in the relationship, we won't either. Because of that, you end up with not a lot of friends because too many of them are too immature to put in the work every relationship needs. In school, I only had a few close friends rather than a bunch of "acquaintances." I see that in you too. My encouragement to you then is to not alienate yourself too much. Even though people can be rude and selfish, put yourself out there and keep trying. Eventually, some of them will grow up and you can become great friends. I know it's difficult, bubs- I've been there. But when it feels like you have no one, you will always have me.

11. You're not in charge of anyone else.

Trinity Tew

I know you've heard this before. You can't change how someone else acts, you can only control how you react. But it is true, bubba. And I know you struggle with this like I do. You are way more mature than your age, and I hate to break it to you, but most people don't grow up. Immature people are very frustrating, and sometimes irritating, to be around. Sure, there is a time and a place for everything, but you don't have to act like that all the time, right? It's difficult to remember, but you can't change anyone else. You are only in charge of how you respond. So, what is your response going to be? I hope that you learn what things irritate you, figure out why they irritate you, and then come up with a solution of how to proceed. Don't be passive aggressive and don't be rude back. Be patient, but learn what works for you and learn what is efficient and positive.

12. To stand up to bullies, be nice to them.

Trinity Tew

We know I was bullied. I was an easy target because I was kind and everyone knew I was a "goody goody." And bubs, I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. "Words will never hurt me"... HA. They sting. But that doesn't make them true. If you know yourself and your value, it let's you be able to laugh at your bullies. Essentially, bullies are just insecure people who also feel bullied. Typically, they have issues at home, making them insecure in themselves so they feel the need to push you down to lift themselves up. But you need to be a leader. Leaders lift others up, which in turn, lifts yourself up, but that's not the point. Leaders are positive, bullies are negative. Be nice to your bullies. Knowing you, you will throw out some witty comment here and there that will make them stop in the moment. And yeah, your comments probably made them think for a minute. But they won't change until they feel appreciated or validated, which is all they want. So, be nice to them. You don't necessarily have to thank them for picking on you, though you will eventually learn that what they did to you made you a better person. But just be nice. Turn the other cheek. Compliment them, but on their personality not on their appearance. If you make them feel better about themselves, they won't feel the need to push others down. You might even gain a friend from it.

Bubba, you are insanely amazing. You are entirely capable. You are wholly loved. You are the coolest, smartest, funniest, most athletic, most well-rounded person I know. I admire you and look up to you in so many ways, and not just when we stand up next to each other... These things, I tell you because I want your life to be just a little easier than mine has been. I want to take away some of the heartache and growing pains. I want to help you, because I'm your big sister and I will ALWAYS have your back. I'm literally here for you 24/7. So, hit me up when you need me, bubs. I'm here and I love you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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