The Only Child With Several Older Brothers

The Only Child With Several Older Brothers

I'd like to thank those friends of mine who had so much confidence in me as I tried to figure out who I was as a person.
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“It’s just a spark, but it’s enough to keep me going.”

Being an only child my entire life has abundantly taught me about who I am as a person, and which people made the largest impact on me. I grew up around a higher ratio of males than females and learned to accommodate their ways of life into mine. I’d learned to view aspects of the world through males’ perspectives early on, which resulted in a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between them and myself.

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The primary group of males who had an impact on my life were my cousins. Regardless of how times I played cowboys and Indians, Kim Possible, or some other sort of crime-fighting games growing up, I ended up learning several different methods of self-defense—skills I’m glad they passed on to me. Although I participated in those kinds of games and was always up for a boat ride in the canoe or a hike through the woods, I wasn’t categorized as a “tomboy.” In fact, I had never fallen into any stereotypical group; I roamed among everyone.

After being homeschooled until seventh grade, once I was exposed to public schooling, I embraced all of the opportunities these new faces offered me. I never had just one group I hung out with, the same girls or guys, I seemed to have one friend from multiple different friend groups. It was a factor about myself I’d never noticed; I liked having a little bit of everything—a little bit of every possible perspective.

One of the opportunities I was given was the dependability, the support, and the protectiveness the males in my life provided me. Until my first semester of college, I never realized the full impact these males made in my life. Looking back, I realized some of my strongest support and guidance had come from my best guy friends. They had helped me strengthen and improve my character.

In high school for instance, a time full of awkward emotions and challenging discoveries, I found that at my lowest of lows, I got the best bits of encouragement from those “guy friends” of mine. Sure, some may have found it strange for me to sit at an all-guy lunch table, but it was beneficial—they had become the older brothers I never had. It’s underrated, girl and guy friendships, and it’s a shame all of the positive actions or words of support go unmentioned.

I still remember specific scenarios where I would be having issues with one or some of my girlfriends, and I would receive such intellectual advice from my guy friends that was the solution to my situation. They cut straight to the point—no fluff, no artificiality. It was nice to have reminders of the important factors, rather than getting hung up on the petty ones.

I'd like to thank those friends of mine who: had so much confidence in me as I tried to figure out who I was as a person, assisted me with methods to talk to the boy I had a crush on, reminded me of how I deserved to be treated, informed me that I shouldn’t be someone I’m not despite what others were pressuring me to do/be, encouraged me to face my fears and “just do it" like their latest Nike hoodie encouraged, offered me food (gasp) whenever I was upset about something or in a panic, took time out of their evening to sit with me and discuss what was bothering me if I seemed troubled, had my back whenever I was uncomfortable, taught me deep life lessons I needed to hear when I needed them most, and finally, never judged me and accepted me into their group(s).

Whether it be from high school or from college, these relationships are ones I won’t ever fail to remember. I’m thankful I was lucky enough to get to know such great young men: one of which I’m now able to call my boyfriend.

So yes, I may spend some of my Friday nights eating pizza, watching them play video games, or listening to the in-depth analysis of the latest addition to the Spotify playlist, but in those nights I’ve found that I’m the most content.

To those who have been patient and understanding to me through life’s obstacles: I can never thank you enough for what you’ve taught me.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Here's To You, Sophomore Year, And The Memories And Friends You Brought Me

All I can say now is "thank u, next."

Andi Cox
Andi Cox
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Sophomore year is finally over and I am not sure how I feel about it. We are over the hill of some of the best years of our lives, am I the only one who is kind of afraid by that? We are done building the foundation for the rest of our college years. Those boring prerequisite classes are finally out of our way and we get to anticipate the real classes for our major.

The best part of sophomore year is saying hello to new friends and staying faithful to the true ones. We found new places to hang because the frat parties are now overrated. We wish for the days that we finally get to hit "the Ville" but realize we still have some time.

We had some good times and some crazy, but sophomore year taught me a lot about life than I could have expected. I take in the small moments because memories of it are all we have now. I learned from the hard ones and became better. I grew this year into a different person it feels like- academically I am better, more focused. Socially, I learned not everyone is going to be in your life forever and knowing the ones that are is comforting.

With junior year approaching, it brings in anticipation of freedom and a taste of adulthood. If you are like me then you are finally done sharing 130 square feet with one, maybe two other people. We get to move into our own houses, that we rented ourselves, with our friends. The feeling of having my own room again is warming, and the thought of being able to make my own food is making me lose weight already.

In reflection, I am happy it happened but I am glad it's over.

Cheers to sophomore year, you weren't all bad.

Andi Cox
Andi Cox

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