My brother and I are adults now and if there’s one thing I didn’t expect in our getting older is that he and I would trade habits.
When we were kids, I was the nerdy one. I would love to play things like educational games on the old computers, Chess, and I’d always have a find-a-word book with me or something similar. I loved to read books, I pretty much couldn’t get enough of them – so much so I would start to write my own stories. I put so much effort into everything; my school work, my home life, I was organised, helpful and disciplined.
My brother, on the other hand, was all over the shop. I think if he had grown up in the ADD era, that’s what everyone would have labelled him. It was impossible to get him to want to do any school work, let alone read, play games where he would have to learn. He was more into things that kept him going – sport was a huge outlet for him (although I did play sport too) – and most of the time that was video games or watching his favourite basketball team or wrestler on T.V. As he got a little older, nothing really matter to him other than hanging out with friends or playing music with his band. He was happy to have no direction.
How the tables have turned!
I have learned now that my brother goes through books like nobody’s business. Not just books written by his favourite comedian, or light fiction, he reads old penguin books, the ones with words that are no longer in current English circulation. Not only that but he forces himself to finish these books, to learn, to expand. He gave me one for Christmas a couple of years ago that he had finished – I opened the book to a random page and was surprised. The type was small, the terms were difficult; I had a new found respect for him.
Recently, he has taken up Chess! Never thought I would see the day! Not only that but he is learning proper Chess openings and principles. He asked me to play him when I saw him last and I was quite intimidated. He said, “why? you play Chess, don’t you?” as if he expected me to still be that enthusiastic young person he knew growing up.
He told me that recently he was doing all these things with his girlfriend. They would visit the library together, go on outings to exhibitions, go outside for walks and sit together and talk about everything under the sun. I was actually feeling quite jealous at this stage – but mostly disappointed at myself.
Because I have become my old brother.
I spend a lot of my time lost, directionless, willing to put things off in life. I don’t challenge myself anymore and I’d much rather sit around and watch movies or play games than expand my mind. If things are too hard now, I stop; I give up. I wouldn’t make my younger self proud, let me tell you that! Even though I love stories, I don’t read anymore and I hardly ever write (excluding this blog, which to be honest, most of the time doesn’t encourage me to be creative with it.)
It’s as if my brother and I switched places. How funny.
I was supposed to go into work today, but I woke with a pounding head, sweats, blocked nose and general lethargy. I’m glad I was able to stay home because even now my eyes are growing heavy and my brain doesn’t want to type anymore.
I just thought it was funny how things can change as you get older.