For the first time in a long time yesterday, I sat down and had a long chat with my brother via Skype. I have to say, it was much needed and really put a smile on my face.
As I'm sure many of you reading this know, I'm not very close with my family. I purposely went to a school that was very far away from home, and I only ever have gone home for winter break; all the others I stay in Clemson or go somewhere with a friend. It's been that way for a long time, and my parents and I especially have a vast amount of differing opinions on how life should be. At one point I thought about always writing down the things that ticked me off about them each day so that in the future I would have something to look back on when I had kids of my own.
That only lasted a few days, but the point is still the same; we don't get along. I have a tendency to compare my quality of life with that of other kids', which is, unfortunately for me, rather upsetting since it makes a lot of things in my life seem unfair. Since I started high school, I have always been bickering with my parents in my spare time. I don't go to church with my family, I have gotten tattoos, I don't answer their phone calls and they've stopped calling because they know I won't answer.
Generally, I dread going home. Coming from a rich town means all the kids' parents feed their kids' selfishness and gluttony. People get cars like Mercedes', BMWs, and Jaguars for their birthdays, on the day they first get their license. Parents have financed their booze-ridden parties and supplied drugs for others. I don't feel like I fit in in this town, and we have a terrible reputation for being stuck up and arrogant. I'm almost ashamed of where I grew up. And that's why I hate going home, is because I have to see these people. In their eyes, I perhaps disappeared off the face of the earth, basically leaving for South Carolina without so much as a facebook status. I used to wonder if anyone who I left behind from my town wondered where I went.
I no longer care.
The point is, this time, I'm kinda looking forward to going home. Talking with my brother last night realized how much I miss him and miss having him around. It's like I'm missing out on a big part of his life (high school). And I know 100% all the garbage he has to put up with being the only one at home with my parents. Things get blamed on you, you get constantly harassed to do your work, you are not allowed to do this or that, and there are a billion and one rules to follow. They make you go to bed, and argue that because you're up, they have to stay up until you go to bed. I never understood that. Maybe I make them sound worse than they are... but I know from experience it's always been a struggle with them, and my brother has the same issues with them that I did and still do.
As the years went on and I went off to college, I feel that the bond with my brother has grown stronger, despite the fact that we don't talk very much and we are a long ways away. We are always able to sympathize with each other, because we both go through a lot of the same stuff. We are extremely similar in the way we handle things and what ticks us off. I do my best to set a good example, but I would say he helps me just as often as I help him. (He probably doesn't even know it, either, while he's reading this)
I'm really sorry for all those out there who don't have a strong sibling bond like that, or all those who are only children and may not ever experience it. It's really something special, and that's why I decided to memorialize it with the tattoo on my left arm, saying Brothers Forever in an ambigram-ish sort of way. The ambigram is symbolic of the reciprocation of the help given and received, in a never ending cycle. Not only will he always be my brother by blood, but he'll be the best thing in a family I could ever have asked for.
I appreciate him more than he knows, and I'm always pullin for him, whether he knows it or not. It kills me when I see him get let down or dumped or having my parents dump their problems on him. It's not right. But just so he knows I've always got his back, no matter what. When he's old enough, I'm told the plan is to get the same tattoo, so we'll be matching.
But for now, I'll settle for just being able to spend some quality time with home over break. He also turns 17 on Thursday, so happy birthday buddy. Good to have you in the fam.