Today my brother finishes a major chapter in the book of life and is about to embark on a new journey. That's right, today is his final day of classes for high school. As the older, wiser, and I assume better looking brother, it is up to me to pass on some advice to my little, yet taller, brother.
My first piece of advice: Embrace your weirdness.
I think our baby brother does this the best, he doesn't care what people think. Has he been wearing the same clothes all week? You bet he has! Does he care that you think it's gross? Not even a little bit! You can learn a lot from him. People will always try and put you down for not conforming to the norm, but you can't let these people who are too afraid to branch out effect how you live your life. Go out and wear weird glasses, and watch cartoons, embrace your weird and do what makes you happy.
This leads to my next piece of advice: If something is worth doing it will be hard.
As much as I wish it were untrue, you will need to work hard at what you love. I know the saying "if you do what you love then you will never work a day in your life" that is BS. You have to accept that somedays are going to be hard, and that's okay because it means you are doing something worthwhile. You will have days that you are loving what you're doing and it won't feel like work, but you will have days that you question why you thought it was a good idea in the first place, but remember, if it's what you love then you can push through the bad days.
Let mom and dad help you.
This is a hard lesson to learn, and I know that at 17 you pretty much know all you need to know about life... however, I promise that mom and dad still have some wisdom to pass on. And trust me, I know that at times it will feel more like a lecture than passing on advice, but if you can learn to listen to them and take on board the advice they have for you I promise that you will be able to achieve everything you imagined in life and more.
Don't forget to let them in to your life as well.
I will admit that I'm not great at doing this, I forget to tell them things, and I am terrible at remembering details. But mom and dad love you more than you can realise, and they don't want to judge, or criticise or even be physically involved, they just like to know that you are safe and happy.
My final piece of advice: Never lose your sense of humour.
I don't think there has been a day this year where I haven't been with you and laughed, yes some times I'm laughing at you, but I still laugh. Even when I'm laughing at you you have this amazing ability to roll with the joke and make it yours. I don't know if you realise how important this skill is for life. Being able to laugh at yourself and being able to make other people laugh is truly a gift to the world. So never let anyone take your sense of humour, it's perfect the way it is.
Sean, you will be able to achieve anything you want in this life, so go out and live it. Never be afraid of what people think. And because I don't say this enough, I love you Sean.