An Open Letter to My Little Brother (with lots of profanity)


I’m really glad you called me. It means a lot that we’re still connecting after all this time. A lot of families split apart and never realize what they could have had. You and me, we had a choice. I think we did pretty good. We’ve always done pretty good, even through the shit, you know? We have the same context, so we never had to justify ourselves. We don’t have to apologize for our language, our thoughts, or our feelings.

So, I’ll give it to you straight.

The reason you feel like you’re dying is because you are dying.

You, me, and everyone else on the planet is dying a little more with every passing second. Scared yet? Good. Because I’m scared, too.

We were brought up to believe that we have a say in our fate. We were constantly tested and expected to step up when our bodies wanted to give out. There were always eyes on us. We had someone to impress — and someone, therefore, we risked disappointing. A lot of times, for me, that was you. I pushed harder because I wanted to be there when you needed me. I got better because I knew you were watching. I knew you believed in me; and I learned to rally after fucking up because you helped me get up again, and said something stupid to make me laugh. Because of that, you are part of my identity, forever.

You and I learned to fight. We fought each other, we fought our friends, and we learned to fight our own weaknesses. We’re at our best when we push and struggle in dynamic conflict. We’re interested in learning new things and broadening our understanding. We want to get better — whatever it takes — to become stronger, bigger, faster, smarter and wiser. If we stop struggling, we die.

We die slowly at first… putting off stuff we know we’re supposed to do. Hanging out instead of finishing our projects. In time, it gets harder to catch up. The gap gets bigger and bigger. We give up what nourishes our souls for the sake of the daily grind — for the sake of what we’re told we ‘need.’ Before you know it, you don’t know who you are anymore. You don’t know what you’re after so you care more about the packaging than the prize. I know you love to fight; but there’s a difference between the pain of growing, and the pain of injury.

Giving up that thing we love — that thing that makes us happy — is self-injury. The only difference between that and a knife is that a knife will drain your blood; but giving up drains your soul. That’s what I mean when I say yes, you’re dying. I know you feel it, because I feel it too when I’m not getting my shit done.

You can’t stop. You have to keep going. The obstacles in your way are in your head. Everything you described that’s worrying you — your mom, your girlfriend, your job, your collection of books — face them. Ask your mom what you wanted to ask her. Ask your girlfriend what her path is, and let her tell you if it’s the same path as yours. None of this has to stay as it is — in fact, all of it will change. You can construct your life, and pick the people you want to keep in it. There is no reason to waste your time at work, at home, or in love with people who don’t help you become your ultimate self.

There are billions of goddamn people on the planet. We can pick who we give our time to. Again, all of it will change… you can choose, or time will choose for you.

Of course, you don’t have to make any major decisions tonight. Sit on it. Look at it. The only thing holding you back is fear. We were taught how important it is to conduct ourselves with dignity and honor, so anything less feels like we’re degrading ourselves. We’re not. I promise we’re not. Our successes and our fuck-ups are all ours; and we grow using both of them.The only reason I suggest starting now is because you’ll be so glad of it, you’ll wish you started sooner. It takes guts to grow, to walk your true path — and, oh man, it fucking hurts sometimes — but it’s always worth it. Always always always.

Just roll around a bit. You’ll be a’aight.

I love you.



9 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Little Brother (with lots of profanity)

  1. toconnell88

    This is lovely. I wish I had someone looking out for me in this way. (In my family, we’re lone islands.) Even though the specifics are vague/esoteric, the general meaning here is clear: you love and respect your brother, and want him to make the right life choices.

    Would he ever read this, d’you think?

    1. Setsu Post author

      Oh yeah, definitely. My little brother and I are tight. He might even call and yell at me for posting it publicly; but I forget this stuff from time to time too. Putting it up somewhere everyone can see helps me stay accountable too, you know?

      It’s my older brother who’s a tough audience.

  2. REDdog

    You are an old soul with a beautiful heart, you’re lil bro is very fortunate to have you. If he is anything like you he will work it out before it’s too late. Sometimes disappointing other people feels like disrespecting them…so.edone not so famous once said: there is no genuine respect for another where respect for self must dwell in compromise.

    1. Setsu Post author

      He’s smacked me around more than once when I act like a MFU. I’m lucky to have found him.

      And thank YOU RD, I feel really lucky to have found you too! People who tell it like it is with love in their hearts are rarer than gold and 100times more valuable.

      1. REDdog

        Tellin it any other way is delaying (not avoiding) the inevitable…we’ve all been KEYs at some stage *6’3″/250lb hug*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s