Dear Zac and Judd,
Once upon a time your Mum swore she would never write an “open” style letter and post it on the internet, for fear she would be judged. But she became confident and realised she actually really wanted her boys, and the world, to read this one in particular.
Throughout your upbringing we know you may resent Mum and Dad for setting boundaries for you or following through with disciplinary threats like; “Put down your Pokémon and eat breakfast right now or we will take them off you!”. And seriously, I literally told Zac this today and the day before, and I actually took them off you mate. Unfortunately you have that many of the little bastards that you have forgotten I took those specific ones.
Anyway, my point: You are very fortunate children. You were born and are living in a time were you are safe and have very little to be concerned about (we hope this continues).
Your great grandparents lived through World War II, which is why Mum and Dad will get so grumpy if you ever complain about not getting enough toys or superficial rubbish. Our family’s have starved and battled to live in this country and we hope one day you will understand the importance of that.
What you are about to read is like a manual of how your Mum and Dad were raised, with our own additions developed from our own experiences, that we have since raised you with. Without guidance we know, and have seen with our own two eyes, how out of hand a persons emotional wellbeing can get.
Our biggest wish for you both is that you grow up strong and healthy mentally and physically, and that you will be able to tackle the adversity life often throws at you. And we hope and pray that you don’t end up bratty like the “Cash me outside how bout dah” girl. You may need to Google that one.
Here it is;
WE DON’T CARE WHO YOU MARRY. So long as they respect you and you respect them in return. We also don’t care if you never marry.
TRY, ALWAYS. This life does not hand you what you want accidentally. It does not reward entitled behaviour or grant wishes to it either. You will need to set goals and work your backsides off to get what you want. Know where to direct your best efforts to achieve your goals but always do your best.
FIND A WAY TO LOVE YOURSELF. That way you lessen the chance of being in unhealthy and toxic relationships.
BE SELF SUFFICIENT AND INDEPENDANT. Wash your own dishes, cook your own meals, and clean your own laundry. Do not rely on another human being to do all of this for you. That is one of the largest contributors to a failing relationship. Expecting your life partner to pick up after you or make your lunches when they too are working and contributing to your lifestyle is detrimental to a relationship.
TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Even if it breaks our hearts to see you go, deep down we want you to experience as much as this world has to offer.
LEARN FROM YOUR OWN AND OTHER PEOPLE’S MISTAKES. Making mistakes is perfectly okay. What is not okay is repeating them and expecting a different outcome each time. This is often called “the definition of insanity”.
CONFIDENCE EQUALS SUCCESS. This doesn’t mean being boisterous, obnoxious and rude. It means being true to yourself. People will listen to you when you speak with embedded confidence and self-trust. Don’t second guess yourself, or let anybody else make you feel as if your voice is less important. If they do, find another circle of friends.
LISTEN. Mum learnt this the hard way. Sometimes you need to stop ranting and simply listen to what somebody has to say. There are many introverted people that are waiting for the opportunity to speak and what they have to say can be so valuable.
BE HEALTHILY IMPULSIVE. Planning is great, but sometimes real memories are made by doing rather than spending lots of time planning and procrastinating.
ALWAYS PRACTICE COMMON DECENCY. It is rare as I write this. It will most likely be even more rare by the time you read this. Assist the elderly, let them take your seat on the train. Even if you do not receive a thankyou, feel good that you helped another human being. Have respect for people’s boundaries and their property. Be aware that your actions effect those around you. You may have no concept of what type of life somebody has lived. A simple kind gesture could make their day.
FAILURE IS AWESOME. Keep practicing, keep researching and learning, keep failing until you get it right. Giving up is the easy way out.
DON’T FEAR CHANGE. Change is growth. It is hard but that is where the magic happens.
IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T RECEIVE. It takes real guts to stand up in front of a classroom or a crowd to ask a question you need an answer to but if you don’t withstand those moments of discomfort, you will forever regret it. Be bold.
DON’T LIVE IN REGRET. Clichéd, but true. In conjunction with the above – take the risk. Breathe in the awkwardness of a new situation or a trialling time, breathe out the confidence in knowing it is best for you in the long term.
RESPECT WHERE YOU COME FROM. You are fortunate to have loving family members. Ask them about their life some time. Get them to show you pictures or tell you about their children. Learn and grow from their experiences.
FIND YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTERS. And support them back. They could be friends, family, colleagues, people you met through sports or co-curricular activities. They are instrumental in your wellbeing. When you feel down and out, make sure you have got someone to vent to that will not only listen but will help build you back up again so you can get on with life.
DWELLING GETS YOU NOWHERE. Your Dad told your Mum something once, “worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” One of his very few wise moments, kidding.
RESILIENCE. Although we try our best to teach you this, it can be a tough skill to develop. Bounce back. One dodgy morning or a few sad times does not set the tone for the remainder of your day or your life. You can control what you absorb so make sure whatever that is, that it is worth your efforts.
THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO DO NOT LIKE YOU, AND YOU THEM. You may never discover why. It is perfectly acceptable. At this point in time there is over 7 BILLION people on Earth, you cannot be socially compatible with all of them. If you have to be in each others lives, accept this and put your efforts to people you do get along with.
NO MEANS NO. This is important, boys. Nothing gives you the right to physically or mentally overpower someone into doing what you want. Domestic and sexual violence is not okay. Your family has NEVER condoned it. We will be the first on the list to report you to police should you ever try it.
KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED. Mum and Dad love you more than we can possibly tell you. We have faith in you. We trust that within you are bright and positive spirits with all of the potential in the world.
There they are, boys. The snippets of life experience and core values that we have to share and have tried to instill in you. One more very important one, HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOUR. Just please don’t let it be your father’s 😆.
Love Always and Forever,