Dear Future Paul,
If you’re reading this you’re in middle school. Congratulations. I never thought you would make it. Right now, you’re in third grade, you’re still having trouble with our math facts.
Now I didn’t just write this letter as a form of mocking you, although that is part of it. I am actually writing this letter to thank you, and to pay you back with a bit of advice.
When I am writing this you are in third grade, and I am in eighth so most of the things you did to help me you did unintentionally, but some of the things you did on purpose were the best. Like the time you were in the hospital and we went down to the lobby. I don’t know if you remember, but you wanted to make all the crafts just like me. That day, when I needed it most, you made it clear that you needed me to be around, that I was a really big help to you. And all the times after dad took away your TV privileges, you would always go get your bright blue guitar and want to come play with me, even if I was doing my homework, and even if you didn’t want to actually learn to play. I hope by now you have learned at least one chord. I even loved the times when you would wake up at five in the morning and scream at the top of your lungs just to ask if you could get up.
There were also lots of things you had no control over that helped me. You were in the hospital a lot as a kid, and probably still occasionally now, and though it sucked at the time, it made me grow up faster. It made me a more mature teenager, and it set my priorities straight. It showed me how to deal with long periods of time without any occupation. And besides that you taught me more about conflict resolution and problem solving. All those twenty-minute long fights about nothing, or over a green plate, when you would fight for until you realized I was inevitably going to win, then stood back. And then those few times you actually got mom and dad on your side. And thanks for being my friend, not my brother, because everyone knows that you are cooler then I, or at least you were at the time of writing this.
And one little piece of advice before you go on to the eighth grade, doesn’t be mean, and be yourself. Find yourself a good pack of friends, and make sure not to be a follower, and don’t pretend middle school is some food chain, which you are either the top or the bottom of. And above all don’t take advice, because if there is one thing I’ve learned from you above all, it is that we do not learn well from what we are told, we learn from what we do, and who we are around, and I hope you have learned as much from me as I have learned from you.
Love from the past,
Eighth grade Paige