This post is going to get a little deep… deal with it. My little brother, CALEB’S, 18th birthday was a mere 2 weeks ago and none of us can believe that we are old enough to have a brother/son/youngest grandchild that old. Even though in my head he is still the nine year old writing out raps in the living room about basketball and dancing, I absolutely adore the young man he has become. He’s an incredible athlete (takes after his big sister), smart, responsible and a fantastic artist. It’s ok to be jealous of my little brother ((yes all of us Johnson’s are pretty self-obsessed because we are all pretty much the same person)) and of our sibling bond. So any who — I decided to take a sec and step back and offer up some advice for my incredible little brother that I have learned in my wise **
ALMOST** 25 years on this Earth.
** ENJOY COLLEGE: I loved college and graduated in the four years you are “supposed” to take to graduate but I wouldn’t say that it’s the route for all people, you included little brother. Take your time… college really is the best years of your life and the people you meet and the relationships you make will outlast those that you thought would last forever. I’m thinking that it must have something to do with maturity. That being said, go AWAY to college. I avoided going to the stereotypical big universities of Auburn and Alabama – which ended up being just high school grades 13-16 – and it was the best decision of my life. Going away where you are forced to make new friends, meet new people and jump out of your comfort zone is so much better than sticking to the norm.
** ALWAYS HAVE AT LEAST ONE PERSON IN YOUR CORNER THAT YOU CAN TELL EVERYTHING TO: Do not follow in your big sisters footsteps. I have a hard time being open and honest about my feelings (mainly because I get such maj anxiety when I think I’m disappointing someone – such an annoying trait to have) and I promise it does not help in the long run. Also – feel free to confide in me… except about girls because you know no one will be good enough.
** GET A JOB: Making your own money rocks… This doesn’t mean that I will stop slipping you some cash whenever I see you because I love you but being able to spend your money however you want definitely gives you a sense of entitlement.
**TELL MOM YOU LOVE HER: You should tell her everyday… Doing your laundry, dishes and cooking for you the last 18 years is gross and exhausting (I know because I did it for you too) so let her know just in case she forgets.
** TAKE MORE PICTURES: As you know, baby bro, your big sister is a picture whore and I think you should take a few steps my way and take some more pics… especially with your sister J I mean, what if you get abducted and the last picture I have of you is from my college graduation three years ago?! Not ok… get on it!
**FALL IN LOVE IN COLLEGE… A FEW TIMES: Heartbreak sucks and it never gets easier (nothing ever does) but it will get you ready for your future. Believe me, it all works out in the end.
** PICK A POLITICAL PARTY AND REGISTER TO VOTE: Educate yourself and make your own decisions. Don’t go with the flow and don’t let your peers influence you. Choose what matters to you and run with it.
** DON’T GET ARRESTED!! I don’t think I need to elaborate on this point. That ish stays with you forever!
Time flies when you are watching someone grow up. I can still remember three year old Caleb at our grandparents farm holding a sunflower with his cute curly hair posing for pictures, that stage in his life where he wouldn’t leave the house without a band-aid on his forehead [[Nelly you are such a poser – I always knew you were a trendsetter Caleb]]…with a million more memories and a ton more to come I want you to know, Caleb Carter, that I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world (even that sister that I begged mom for). I LOVE YOU and I can’t wait to see the amazing things you accomplish in your life!