What My Older Brother Has Taught Me

What My Older Brother Has Taught Me

Everyone is different and you have to respect that
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One of the most profound things that I have learned from my older brother is that even people raised in the same household can develop different understandings and perceptions of how to navigate relationships. In the beginning, understanding that we were different in this regard was hard for me to comprehend. However, now, I have gotten to the point where I respect the difference and it has made me understand my brother so much more.

To be more specific, I navigate relationships by the amount of contact I receive from someone. For me, I know someone cares about me when they take the time and energy to keep up with what is going on in my life. Whether that be through daily texting, email, Snapchat or any other social media platform, I feel close to people when I am in communication with them on a relatively consistent basis. With that being said, when someone doesn’t check in or talk to me very often, I feel like they don’t really care about me and it makes me sad.

On the other hand, my brother is someone who views relationships in a more simplistic and straightforward manner. He knows the people in his life that he cares about and is close with and, for him, constant communication is not necessary. Even if he didn’t talk to me for 10 years and one day I needed his help, he would come and help me no matter what because his love for me as his little sister doesn’t stem from knowing what I do on the day to day, but rather our inherent bond with each other created through our shared experiences.

It is so crazy to me that it has taken me only recently to understand this difference me and my brother.

From my perspective, my brother and I were raised in the same household and have experienced our family hardships together. Thus, I assumed that we shared a similar outlook when it came to relationships and life, in general. However, what I didn’t realize was we both took different perspectives and lessons from each of the things that we have been through and that, as a result, has shaped our perception on relationships in two unique ways.

I guess I write this to express that I am really glad my brother and I have gotten to the place where we were able to discuss our feelings about how we view relationships openly because it helped me understand him as a person so much better. This just goes to show that no matter how long you know someone, there will always be things about them that you can still learn and having the openness to have those conversations, even after a lifetime of knowing someone, is the key to progressing the relationship even further!

Cover Image Credit: personal image

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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When You Give A Girl A Sister

She is my built-in best friend from the Lord.

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She is my answered prayer, but I began as hers, literally. She prayed for me in the bathtub at the age of 7 years old, and she specifically asked God for a baby sister. A majority of our family thought that I was a boy, but the Lord and Rebekah had other plans. From the beginning, we were meant to be together.

She is 7 years older than me, but the average person cannot tell that by the way we act together. We laugh, scream, and talk a little (maybe a lot) too loud. She holds the key to my heart.

Today, we were on the phone and I cried to her. I did not cry tears of sadness, but of pure joy. I cried because we were talking about all of our plans for the weekend and a possible hike on Monday after my first final. It is conversations like those that remind me of where I came from and why I never want to forget my roots.

I grew up in a very close family, and my sister and I are the epitome of close. She knows exactly when to call me or just come over to cheer me up. She is the first person I call when anything happens, whether it is good or bad. She is my true bestie.

We no longer live in the same house as each other, but distance makes these hearts grow fonder. Each time we get to see each other is like the first time, but it always gets better.

We normally don't go a long time without each other, but if I'm being honest, sometimes it feels like FOREVER. We may grow up, move, get married, have nieces and nephews for each other, but we will always be sisters first (this is a reference to a book that she gave me a while back as a Christmas gift about our favorite set of sister).

Rebekah, I love you more than you could ever know. You have gotten married and left the nest, but my love for you as my sister will never leave, but instead, it will always grow. I cannot wait to see you soon (probably tomorrow, actually).

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