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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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To My Little Sister Who Became My Best Friend

You are so strong. Never forget that.

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It's no secret that most siblings go through periods of loving and hating each other before they become best friends. My parents always told us "don't burn bridges with your sister, one day she'll be your best friend," and like most moody teenagers, I would roll my eyes and walk away.

How could I ever become best friends with this person who stole my clothes, who would flirt with the boys I liked, who had more friends than I ever would?

To my surprise, I went off to college, and my sister became my best and closest friend.

To my not-so-little-sister (yes, we're only 13 months apart. Thanks, mom!) who finally became my best friend,

I know I haven't said it enough over the last 18-years, but I love you. Please remember no matter how many times that I'll continue to say it now, I will always love you so much. Having a sister like you has not only been one of life's biggest challenges but one of its biggest blessings as well.

Thank you for teaching me so many lessons in our journey through life together. I know that they typically say 'learn from your older siblings' mistakes,' but let's be real, you've taught me a lot more than I could have ever shown you.

Thank you for being there for me when life gets hard. For being the only familiar face in the halls of every new school, and holding my hand after each heartbreak, I experienced. Thank you for the many late-night Steak 'n Shake runs, and hours spent with me shopping at the mall (because we both know how indecisive I get when it comes to clothes). For the times we've danced in the kitchen screaming Demi Lovato's greatest hits avoiding the piles of dishes and laundry to do before mom gets home.

These are some of the memories I will cherish forever.

Thank you for being the best secret-keeper and the person I know I can always trust the most. You've seen me at my best, but also my worst and yet you never fail to be there when I need you. Sometimes I feel like you know me better than I know myself. Thank you for accepting who I am as a person and supporting me even when others in our family do not.

Despite all of the stupid fights growing up over stealing each other's shoes or clothes or what time we were going to leave for school in the morning (that was a weird one), I don't know what I would do without you. My biggest regret in life is looking back and realizing how much time we lost fighting over the littlest things. I miss having you close to me.

Know that I'm always here for you, even if it's a 2 A.M Facetime call away. You can come to me with anything and everything. I know I don't tell you this enough, but I am so proud of who you are and the woman you are becoming.

Through both the good times and the bad, I will always be here supporting you, encouraging you, and loving you. Through thick and thin I will always be your big sister (even if it's only by 13 months) who loves you. No amount of distance, no fight, and no mistake could ever change that.

A few things I hope you always remember my dear sister: you are beautiful, smart, determined, passionate, and talented. You are so strong. Never forget that. You are so much more than you will ever believe yourself to be. You can conquer the world and reach any of the dreams that you set yourself out to achieve. I know you will! You are capable of so much more than you will ever know. Work hard, never give up.

Through everything that you do, in everything that you face, I will always be here supporting you. I am so proud of you. I can't wait to see you reach all of your dreams.

"The bond between sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship." - Margret Mead

I love you forever,

Your big sister

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