Here’s to a new chapter.

I left my best friend in Ohio.

Is that a dramatic statement? Yes. Are we surprised? No.

It has been five days since we moved my brother into the University of Akron, and this is a family shift that I am still getting used to. Yes, he is only three and a half hours away, but he is not home. When I moved away to college [30 mins away, but still], I didn’t realize how much of an impact this was on the rest of my family, simply because I was not there. I was on my own, busy, walking along this new path of life. But now that the roles are reversed, I see what my Mom was talking about for all those years.

The relationship that my brother and I have is one unlike many I’ve seen. I don’t know if it has to do with how close our family is or how far apart in age we are, but whatever it is, it is something that I am thankful for. Because we are so close, it makes the loss of him not being around 24/7 that much greater. I know it’s only been a few days, but I’ve already caught myself about to text him asking if he would want my leftover lunch, or if he wanted to run with me to the store later.

Although he is states away, he has talked to me every single day since he’s been gone, which makes me feel still so involved in his life when he fills me in on everything going on, and makes me feel like he isn’t out of town. Little things like this have already made the difference.

Today is his first day of college classes, whereas it is the last first day of college I will ever have in my lifetime [shoutout to grad school almost being over!!]. I am so overwhelmingly proud and excited for him.

Unpacking all of his things and setting up his dorm took away any ounce of sadness that I felt. In fact, it made me want to go back to undergrad, moving away, myself, because I remember that feeling. I remember the excitement I felt to be on my own, away from home, ready to start this new chapter in my life. Remembering this makes me feel like a total mom, because I am so excited that he gets to experience all of these things, too.

So, little bro, kick ass. Kill it. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear about your new adventure. xoxo.

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To my brother, the high school graduate.


To my “baby” brother:

As I sit here writing this post, I wonder how this is even possible. Six years ago, it was me. I was graduating from high school and about to go to college. Three years later, I was graduating college and you were about to go to high school. Well, here we are, four years later, and you’ve walked across the stage as a high school graduate.

In three months, you will be packing your belongings into boxes and moving to a brand new city in a brand new state, in a entirely new environment. You will be surrounded by strangers who will soon become your closest friends. You will have freedom to learn and grow. You will face challenges. You will be homesick. But you will never be alone.

The amount of love I have for you cannot be described, but if I had to pick a word to describe it, I would pick unconditional. I couldn’t possibly think of a better person to have shared the entirety of my life with. Soon, you and I will not have the ease or convenience of being a hop, skip, and jump away. It will be tough, even though we both don’t want to admit it.

You are my best friend – a friend I have had both the honor and privilege of watching grow up from a crazy, curly-headed toddler to a well-rounded, respectable young man. You are the most intelligent, focused, driven, talented, kind person. You are a team player. You are perfect.

I am so unbelievably proud of you and everything you have accomplished. Countless championships, awards, honors, scholarships – more pieces of paper and plaques than I ever knew exited. I have great faith in you and what your future has in store. I hope you continue to be intelligent, focused, driven, talented, and kind, and that you stay true to yourself and who you are. I cannot wait to see how your life plays out from here. Take the world by storm, kid. It’s yours to have.

I love you, bro. xoxo.