Hey there, Young Man. I see you. I’ve watched you grow from a small boy into an awkward, gangly, happy, moody, angry, sad, humorous, and serious teenager. I see you sometimes, standing on the outside of the circle, wondering how and what you should do to get inside. There are some kids you’ve known all your life in the middle of that circle, and some kids you’ve only just met, and I know how badly you want to ease in there and make a place for yourself.
It’s hard to know which circle to pick. There are just so many. Sometimes the circles that may look the most attractive contain the wrong people, so be careful, and choose wisely. Choose the circle that is full of those who will lift you up instead of tearing you down. Pick the friends inside the circle who accept you for who you are and love you no matter what.
Understand that people grow apart. Time moves on, and those friends you played with in second grade may not be the same people they used to be. But I know you. You are very much the same. You’ve changed, sure, but not that much.
I see you sitting near the pool in the summer surrounded by boys and girls your age who wouldn’t be caught dead saying “Hi” to me as I walk by. But not you. You raise your hand to me with a smile on your face and you yell “Hello!”, because that’s you. That’s what you do. It’s who you are.
I’ve watched you with your younger siblings. I have seen how you kiss their boo-boos when they fall, how you play silly games with them when you’d probably rather be playing video games. I’ve watched you include them in your life in a way that most big brothers wouldn’t.
You’re the kid who wants to help the lost lady find her way out of the grocery store. You’re the boy who doesn’t stand in the corner and make fun of the child with special needs. You’re the young man who doesn’t judge others by their race, religion, or economic situation.
Young Man, I know you struggle. I know you aren’t sure yet where you fit in. Middle school is so difficult, and finding your way can feel almost impossible. But you have a place, and once you find it, you’ll feel safe again.
I know you, and you have a good heart. Your parents have done an excellent job of raising you into the sweet and giving boy you are today. Remember all the things they’ve said. Listen in your head to their voices when the people around you make bad choices, and let your parents’ voices help guide you to make better ones. You know what’s right, and you know what’s wrong. Be who you are, and do the right thing. Make that good choice.
You are full of happiness and light. There is greatness inside you just waiting to be set free. All of it will come to you soon, and when it does, you’ll look back to this time in your life and be glad you followed your heart.
Be who you are, not what anyone else wants you to be.
Be who you are, even when the others tell you it’s weird, or wrong, or stupid, or uncool.
Be who you are because only you know what you need and what you want out of this life.
Be who you are because you are inspiring, intelligent, caring, giving, and loyal.
Be who you are because you are loved by so many.
And be who you are because you continue to make everyone proud.
Follow your own path and it will lead you exactly to where you you are supposed to go.
Trust yourself, and be who you are.