Between Nate and I we have almost a dozen younger cousins between us. We're the oldest on both sides of our family, and they are all at those opening gates of adulthood now between ages 19-24. Which as I always say is one of the most exciting times in your life.
One just bought her first house and is expecting her second baby, and they are such great parents. Another just accepted her first teaching job, and I know she is going to be great. Another is finishing her final semester of college and job hunting, and I can't wait to see what adventures she embarks upon. The others are in college working towards degrees, out in the work force, and many in relationships they hope to make the one. It is such an exciting time for them.
As their big cousins we're so proud of them. As exciting of a time as this is for them, I also know how confusing it can be to fully embark on adulthood with all its wonderful responsibilities and choices. You finally get to make your own choices, and now you may find yourself at a point of wishing someone would just make it for you.
As excited and as proud as I'm sure your parents are of you too, I also know how parents (God love them) like to impose their older than you wisdom upon you. But remember this. This is your life to live now. Believe it or not they will love you no matter what. Now is the time you want to be true yourself.
One of your parents gave us one of the greatest compliments I've ever received, which was acknowledging us as great individual and couple role models to you and others. However, as great as that is you don't need to be like us, do stuff like us, or live your life like us. Go create your version of greatness, and I know without a doubt you're all going to be great in your own individual ways. As your big cousins we will be here to cheer you on, offer our support, be the listening ear when no one else seems to understand.
It wasn't that long ago we were at those opening gates that you now stand in. It's amazing but it can be hard and confusing. We made mistakes and so will you, but it will be okay. Now is the time to take risks, to chase your dreams, to start building yourself the life you've imagined all the years leading up to this point. Go on, the world is waiting for you, and I for one believe in you and know you will be great!
Your Big Cousins