When I was 8ys old mom put my tiny hands on her big belly and asked me if I wanted a brother or a sister, I always said ‘Sister!’ Always. With so many cousins around all the time, I was tired of boys. I needed a girl in my life, a cute lil sister whom I could dress up or play with dolls or whatever that is that lil girls do (I never really got a chance to find out).
After sooooo much hoping, one fine day, they said “You have a brother”. I was there the day you were born, I heard the aunts giggle and exclaim how cute you were. And I remember the first day I set eyes on you. So tiny, innocent, so angelic and I forgot all about wanting a sister. I thought, oh well, this one’s cute too. Might work.
And then, you started to grow up and they made me responsible for y-o-u (what were they thinking!). You chewed up my few dolls, dismantled the radio, hid in places where the human eye couldn’t see, fell and scraped off what used to be skin on your knee, terrified me by climbing trees that you had no idea how to get off of, came home almost too dusty to be seen, annoyed me with silly questions about everything and then argued when I did give you a sensible answer. You were the most insane person I knew on the face of earth! Who else would have a “missing” report filed with the police! And you were finally found sleeping under a huge pile of freshly washed clothes! Or who would catch bugs and put it in their pockets and go off to sleep with bugs infesting the bed! The worst part was everyone thought I was irresponsible! Phew! I had an exhausting childhood chasing after you!
In spite of all your devilish behavior, you were my little buddy, I cuddled you, I saw you take your first step, I carried you around everywhere, and pointed to things and taught you words, lots of words. So many you were reading above your grade level and explaining to adults your accurate theories as to why the dinosaurs disappeared or why the clouds were formed! You were my secret keeper, my advisor, my best friend, my bodyguard (even at 3 feet tall weighing 20 kilos you would bully the boys who looked at me!). You were my team; whenever you did silly crazy stupid things I always always thought how much I love this lil guy.
And even after these 18 years, that is still so true.
So, now that you are allegedly an adult here is a list of everything I wanted to tell you. I know you will like some, follow some, laugh at some but ignore most of it. But still, here is the list anyways:
1. Don't get into bikes/cars driven by people who are drunk or weird.
2. Understand that your happiness is inextricably tied to the happiness of your family. If they are not happy, then you'll not be happy. You are very lucky to have a loving family. Try to remember this when they get on your nerves.
3. Understand that the more people know about a subject, the more humble they'll sound.
4. If you constantly overdo the booze, you'll end up either dying or having to lose respect. Drink wise.
5. Don't be negative. Whining is for people who want to blame others for their troubles, because it's easier than finding their own way forward.
6. Never get into a fight with your family and loved ones. Apologize. Make peace. They will not always be there.
7. Don't be tight with your money when it comes to your friends or charity.
8. Surround yourself with people who bring out your best side; people in whose company you become fabulous, funny or wise; avoid people in whose company you become boring or sad.
9. Never Stop Learning.
10. Never settle for less than you feel you absolutely deserve.
11. Money is important. Before you spend money, ask yourself if you really need that thing. Savings will allow you freedom to afford what really means the most to you, whether it is to travel, or the freedom to have the career you choose. Stop buying useless things and gifts for people. Make memories instead.
12. Follow your passion.
13. It is natural to be afraid. Courage is ignoring the fear and doing things anyway. Be courageous.
14. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
15. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
16. Be true to yourself, not the person you think everyone else thinks you should or could be.
17. Embrace your faults. It will only make you stronger once you admit you are not always right.
18. Get rid of the attitude. Confidence is cool but cockiness is not.
19. Pay attention to those that matter to you. Spend the time with them while you can. Don't be in a hurry to grow up, trust me, you'll wake up one day and wonder how is it that you're not 18 anymore.
20. Laugh often. Have fun. Always.
At 18, the world is at your feet. Live, achieve and be happy. This life - is your journey. Make it a good one that you can be proud of.
This is for you :)
I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
P.S: I love you. I always will :) Happy Birthday lil man :)