Over eight years ago when you first showed up here, I blindly assumed that you, would be the easy one.  And for a while, you were.  Your problems were overshadowed by all the drama that comes with having an older sister in the house, hardly seeming to hold any weight compared to everyone else.  For the most part, I understood where you were coming from.  Taking things apart just for the heck of it, scaling the highest tree you could find, and making death defying traps, that even though caught me once or twice – were normal.

And then somewhere along the way, you went and grew up.  Somewhere between the years you had a few birthdays, you tossed aside the destroying everything stage, and eventually started building your own stuff.  Instead of scaring everyone in your path with your knack of destroying everything you touched, you amazed people with your abilities to build from the ground up, an idea that originated in your head.  And yet I still understood where you were coming from.  It all made sense.  It was normal, on track, and ok.

I understand that boys your age need to explore, and experiment.  I get that sometimes those experiments arent the best, and not all the attempts are going to make life better.  I get that life sucks, and sometimes you turn to other things to help make sense of the ever changing, complicated life around you that seems to suck you dry everyday.  And I even understand your attempts, your reasoning and everything else that has gone on this past year.  Which is what worries me the most.

Because as much as I understand your struggle and confusion, and a need to make sense of it all – I know there is nothing anyone can do to help.  That for whatever reason its something you have to figure out on your own, and no amount of chanting and cheering is going to help.  Which is where things really turn complicated.  Because there is no end result.  There is no finished product, there is no finish line, no prize, no magic sign at the end that says its all ok now.  Its just something that has to be done.

I know you don’t think there is any way that I could possibly understand whats going on, and in a sense I guess I don’t.  Im not you, I havent lived your life.  But I have been your age, and I have went down the same trails you have before.

You are a bright kid whos silence often causes you to be overlooked, which leads to more frustration and anger on your part.  No one will ever go through what you have, no one will ever think exactly like you do, and no one will ever understand – completely – just what goes on in your mind.  Which is what makes you unique.  As much as I understand about being your age, and just how complicated life can be – I wont ever understand entirely how it is for you.

I don’t know what the future will bring your way, or when the roller coaster in your mind will end.  This year has been a difficult one, but its behind you.  And hopefully with a new year on the horizon, you are able to take the important things from it, and leave the rest behind.  Because when all the struggles are stripped away, fifteen is a pretty fun age and I would hate to see you miss out on it.

Happy Birthday –

Heres to hoping this year is all that you wish for, and more.

– Your Uncle


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