Dear Little One,
I only say little because you are, in fact, little to me. No matter how grown up you may feel, or how much taller you may be, you’re my little one. I’ve got some news for you. Things are changing and your world is about to become a little different. I’m not going to be in it. No, I’m not dying. I’m just going away for a little while. I may be close or very, very far. My room will be empty, my coconut shampoos and pink loofah will be gone from the shower and my favorite peanut butter pretzels will be vacant from the cabinets.
I’m moving out. Yes, I love our house, and no, it’s not because of you. I’m just going to school, but with a twist. I won’t be coming home every night. Don’t even think about it, my room is still off limits. I know we’ve fought a lot, mostly about stupid things, but some serious things, too. But we’ve always found a way back to common ground. I don’t know how we did it, but we did.
You’re going to be on your own for a little bit. You may have your own little ones to look after, but your big sibling isn’t going to be there that much anymore. I will always be a phone call, text or FaceTime away. Technology is pretty cool. But it’s going to be a while before I really get to see you. So now, it’s up to you. Whether you’re the new big in the house or the only kid left, you need to take your life into your own hands and do something extraordinary with it. During the younger trials of my life, these are a few of the biggest things I’ve learned to do and have done. Now, I pass this advice on to you.
Get involved in school. Going out for school activites can be tough and making new friends can be even tougher. Social interaction gets the best of us, but if you let go of the "what ifs" and fully immerse yourself into what your school has to offer, it will make your time there much more enjoyable. Go check out that chess club you've been curious about for a while, try out for the golf team or even audition for the latest play. You will meet people that share common interests and people who have completely different interests that are just as fantastic. They might even introduce you to something you would have never thought of exploring.
Go on adventures. Grab your friends, grab the car keys (once you're licensed) and simply go somewhere, preferably somewhere new. It could be down the street or a couple towns over: the world is out there just itching for you to explore it. It doesn't matter where you are: urban, rural, suburban, small town, large town. The world is big. And you, little one, are still little. Take those steps and grow your awareness of the world. It will expose you to new perspectives you can't even begin to imagine.
Kiss somebody. The thrill of that first kiss is one like no other. Whether you're kissing your crush, your best friend, your boyfriend, your girlfriend or anyone else, it's one of those moments in life that you will remember forever. And that magnetic spark that will ignite your insides and give you that warm fuzzy feeling is that much more electric when you're younger.
Spend time with our parents no matter how irritating they can be. You and I both know that when we are granted some free time, hanging out with our parents isn't exactly the most exciting option that comes to mind. However, once you graduate high school, no matter what you're doing, they're not going to be as accessible as they are to you right now. Yes, when you're older like me you'll have the luxury of freedom, but also the weight of responsibility. You will establish a newfound appreciation for our parents. It may not seem like it now, but it'll hit you when mom isn't around to help you measure the amount of detergent to put into the washer. You have it easy right now. Cherish it.
Discover your passions and never let them go. This coincides with getting involved in school. When you explore the things that the world has to offer you, you allow yourself to be exposed to something truly special: things that will bring you a happiness that nothing else can. And when you find that passion, I'm forbidding you to let it go. No matter how outrageous it may seem, it is essential to hold onto it as tight as you possibly can. How much influence it has in the future is your decision, but once you find that amazing thing... you'll understand when you get there.
I will continue to encourage and support you no matter how far apart we may be. And I want to hear about every exciting moment life has to give to you. I can’t wait to see the amazing person you will become. My only regret will be missing the days that sculpt them.
Life will be hard. Your heart will be broken, true colors will bleed through friendships, you will fight with our parents and you’ll go through some days that seem so utterly terrible that you will be screaming at life wondering what you did to deserve such a dreadful day. You don’t. But that’s life, and all you can do is work through those days and try to make them the best that they can be. I will be there every step of the way with you. Life has so much to offer you, and I hope you absorb every morsel it offers you. I love you so very much and I can’t wait until I see you again.
With every measure of love possible,
Your big (and favorite) sibling
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