Actual words of wisdom from my 17-year-old brother:
You don’t have to be scared.
I believe in you, we all do.
It’s gonna be okay.
You’re so strong, you’ve always been.
I’ll make you dinner, it’ll be great.
You need to experience as much as possible, and forget about figuring out who you are and what you want.
All that damn pressure you put on yourself.
It will all come in time.
You need experiences in order to create who you are.
You need to experience it all, and decide for yourself, and make an honest choice. And how could you do that if all you’d ever known was a safe life?
You don’t want a safe life, you’ve never been that kind of girl.
You did the right thing, you chose your own path.
I’m proud of you.
Here, have some risotto.
Who cares what anyone thinks? They don’t matter.
You need to focus on you, and only you, and not care about anything else.
I know it’s scary and I know you feel lonely, but you’re not alone.
You’re doing great, look where you are.
I’ll get the wine.
We’re so lucky.
You’re doing great.
I love you.
And when I tell him I’m immensely proud of him, and that he’s so amazing because when I was his age I’d just lock myself in my room and cry and scream and skip meals, he tells me everything happens for a reason and that he’s sure those experiences helped me get where I am today.
Which only makes me prouder, really.
Let’s go sit by the fire, I’ll bring wine and we can cuddle the dogs, he says.
I love you too, and thank you, I think.