When we’re growing up with siblings, it can be difficult. I grew up with an older brother. His reputation proceeded me. He was a genius, he was talented, he was gifted, he was good at everything that he tried. He had (and still has) the ambition to do anything that he sets his mind to. If he decides that he wants to do something, he’s going to make sure that he’s amazing at doing it. He’s successful.
It was hard to follow in his footsteps sometimes. There were some teachers that had him before me, and they expected me to have the same type of personality that he did. We were extremely different, and we still are pretty different. He’s logical, I’m emotional. He was again, logical, and I was more into the artistic side of things. He saw everything in black and white, while I was seeing it in every color of the rainbow. We were, and are significantly different people.
He was one grade above me. It got exhausting trying to live up to his name. I remember one specific class, the teacher pointed at me and told me I was his second favorite in my family. Seeing as there were only two of us, it was a huge blow to the self esteem. He and I used to argue before that point, though. We would argue and have different points of view on so many different subjects.
There were also points that I can say that my brother saved my life. Those are stories for another day, though. He was always there for me, and in his own, strange little way, there was never a doubt that he cared about me. I remember snow days from school where we would play Mega-Man on whatever game system it was at the time. There were days that he would give up his game system to let me play Pokemon Snap. If anyone remembers that cheesy game where you got points for getting pictures of the Pokemon, and it was a one player game.
He didn’t complain about sitting and watching me play that game. He was the one that introduced me to some of my favorite Gameboy games at that age, and when I was struggling with them, he would help me through them. I remember times that he would trade way lesser Pokemon with me just so I could get the evolved form of something because it was so important to me at the time.
My brother did more for me than just teach me to play Pokemon. He would make a deal about it at times, but would help me with homework. He would tell me what certain teachers expected if I was struggling with something in a class that he had before me.
When we were younger, no matter how many arguments there were, my brother was my friend. He was the person that I could count on to be there, no matter what. He was one of the only people that knew everything all the time. Sometimes he’d be a know-it-all and drive me up the wall, but he was always there. He did his best for years to protect me. I took it for granted, it became expected.
Of course, growing up, we faded apart, went into our own interests and there are times that we don’t talk for a period of time. There are still times that my brother drives me crazy, but I know that if it comes down to it, he’s there.
We need to show our siblings that we love them. Something that my mom always used to say, “Friends are going to come and go, but he’ll always be your brother.” This comment normally came on days when I was particularly irritated with him, but it’s the truth. I’ve gone through friends, I’ve dealt with horrible relationships, we’ve dealt with our fair share of family issues.
Through it all, I know that I have my brother. He’ll tell me when I’m wrong, he doesn’t mince words either. He’ll tell me if he thinks I’m being an outright idiot, and sometimes, that’s exactly what I need to hear. To this day, I know that if I’m ever in a full out catastrophic situation, I can count on my brother to be there. Even now, he still helps me find the best video games to take my mind off of things, and he’ll still walk me through them.
In the end, I know that I’m lucky that I have him as my brother. I’m lucky that he’s been there, and still is there, and I know that he might be a pain at times, but he’s inspired me. He’s inspired me, not to be like him, but that maybe it’s okay not to follow the path that everyone expected you to. He’s inspired me to stay true to myself. He’s inspired me with his dedication to his work and how to get there – and he’s inspired me with how he can be hurting, he can be troubled, but still hold his head up and continue forward.
Not many people show their siblings the love that they should. Your sibling is your first friend, your sibling is your first ally. When you’re the younger child, your sibling is often also your protector. I don’t say this enough, but I am truly grateful to have the brother that I was given.