My Younger Brother is a Better Role Model Than I Am and it Hurts Sometimes

I always knew there was a difference between me and one of my younger brothers since we were really young. I always got praises in school for getting really good grades, and by the time I hit middle school, my younger brother was earning the same praises so there was no surprise. But then the difference between us grew even greater once I started high school, and once I hit college, the difference was blindingly obvious.

There’s usually been a hidden competition and a cold tension among siblings that’s been portrayed in movies, t.v. shows, and books. To be completely honest, my relationship with my siblings has always been one filled with love and laughter.

I could never relate to the tension that’s portrayed on t.v. where the teenage girl yells at her younger brother to leave her room and slams the door.

I could never relate to the plots where one sibling felt like they were undervalued or underappreciated in comparison to their other siblings. Or the whole “mom or dad loves you more” kind of plot.

My parents did a great job raising all three of us and showing us their love equally. It was never the same type of love, but it was so great and given equally that it didn’t matter. I guess I’m pretty lucky with the fact that my family is incredibly close, and that I have parents that truly care about our well-being.

With that being said, there is still a difference between me and my younger brother. There are three of us, but the brother who is closest to me in age has shown far greater motivation, drive, confidence, and direction in his life than I have ever felt in the 19 years I’ve been alive.

While I choose to lounge around this summer, no job, no summer classes, my younger high school brother is already taking two summer classes, and is making money through a hobby.

It’s never great to compare yourself with others, as I’ve repeated over and over that is a toxic habit which will lead you nowhere but a pit of bitter “what if’s” and “why’s”.

But it’s difficult to not compare yourself to someone who is close to you, because you can see their achievements so up close and personal. The behind the scenes work is never behind the scenes, and that makes their accomplishments all the more sweeter.

I love my brothers a lot.

I really do and I tell them everyday when I’m with them because they hardly take an interest in talking to me when I’m away for college.

So when my younger brother started joining clubs, entering competitions, and winning awards, I was so proud. I smiled so big everytime my mom mentioned another thing he was involved in and all the certificates and trophies he would get.

He would be so excited he would actually message me on facebook and I would be so proud I would even tell my roommates.

When he started trying out for a sport and made the team, I was SO PROUD (because I never really viewed my family as the sporty type), and I was so impressed when I watched one of his games.

He even has a huge side hobby which makes him a lot of money, and at 16 years old that’s something to brag about.

He never stops moving. There’s never really a time when I’ve seen him just lounge around. Even while watching youtube vlogs, he’s still doing something with his hands, building something, or studying.

I love my brother so much, and I am never jealous or bitter of his accomplishments because he’s my brother and he’s worked so hard for what he’s wanted.

But today something hit me. It was disappointment.

Not toward anyone else but myself.

It’s a really weird thing to be disappointed in, but today my brother started driving lessons. He’s already been driving around with my dad, but today was an official lesson and he went on the freeway.

I’ve never driven on the freeway and I’ve had my license for a year.

My moms never driven on the freeway and she’s had her license for years.

My little high school brother doesn’t even have his license and he’s gone on the freeway.

It’s such a small idiotic thing to think about since hundreds of teenagers across america hit the road at a young age, but I’ve always been really sensitive when it came to driving.

I was terrified of driving, and I think I’m still pretty awkward and tense once it comes to driving.

Since I don’t have a car for college, I never have to drive. So when I’m home, I never even want to drive. My mom always always calls me out on it, but I don’t want to drive.

I don’t.

It’s one of my biggest insecurities, and the fact that my younger brother can easily drive on the freeway (something I’ve wanting to do), really slapped me in the face.

A 16 year old boy willing to press the gas pedal on a short stretch of freeway for 10 minutes sent me into a mini existential crisis.

Thinking of not driving for a while led to me thinking about just simply lounging around not doing anything this summer. I’m all talk on this blog with my goals but I can’t move. I don’t know why.

I think I’ve been feeling stuck since freshman year of high school. My “stuck”-ness lingered throughout freshman year of college, and even bled into a little bit of my second year.

And seeing my brother go after things while I just sit there kind of stuck, it really sucks.

I have so many ideas and dreams swirling around my head but I lay there like a comatose vegetable paralyzed by my fear to do anything.

Contrary to how I feel about other people when I see their accomplishments (jealous, lowkey bitter they have those things) with my brother I don’t have those ill feelings towards him.

I have ill feelings towards me. Not that it makes it any better.

In some ways, he inspires me. In other ways, I feel ashamed as an older sibling since I don’t feel like the best role model out there. I don’t feel like a cool older sibling that can inspire them to do great things.

Rather than being the cool older sibling in college doing great things, talking about interesting internships and meeting cool people, I lay there like a log relieved to not have to do anything for a couple months.

Rather than being the cool older sibling that can give them tips on how to talk to other people and make friends, I’m the sibling that’s anxious to even try and talk to our relatives I haven’t seen in a while.

I just want to be a sibling they can be proud of, but I end up being the lazy one.

The other day my youngest brother was savage and called me out on my hidden insecurities. When I asked him if he was excited for college, (this brothers just in middle school) he said yes of course because he imagined college as some wild ride that will be “extremely awesome”.

Curious, I asked him what he meant as an “awesome college experience”. All he replied with was “different than yours”.

Ouch, that stung.

I don’t know how he even analyzed my college life since I don’t really talk to him about it. It sucks that my youngest brother can even analyze me enough to realize that I’m pretty boring. Then again, siblings are mean to each other because that’s the way it is. Endless teasing is a must in my family so I brushed it off, although it did hurt a little.

I wanted to go off on him, and go into a huge speech about how college is difficult, and that academics are no joke etc etc. But I smartly decided against it, realizing he was only 13 and that I shouldn’t be offended.

As wild and long and messy as this blog post is, I felt like I had to put this out there. I know I’ll feel the same way again soon, and I just want to tell myself that hey!

Literally every person is so so different.

The joy I find in relaxing and watching korean dramas is the same joy that my brother finds in building away.

The joy I find in writing blog posts and writing in my journal is the same joy that my brother finds in joining competitions.

We all have our different outlets, and rather than judging yourself and comparing yourself to others, it’s good to appreciate your own interests.

Our personalities are different and for a good reason. If we were all the same crazy busy bee’s, how the hell would we build meaningful relationships with each other. I’m not praising myself for my  laziness (oh god no), but personality wise I’m just reminding myself we’re all different.

Funny enough, my youngest brother is the most similar to me. We both love laying on the couch and laughing at dumb jokes we come up with rather than having to do something every second of the day.

We’re all built differently, and I might need to put in more effort when I want to do something, but that’s okay!

I know I make a lot of these posts, but that’s where I’m at. I need a lot of self-confidence posts.

I hope you guys are doing well! Summer is ending for a lot of us students (back to school up hauls and sales are popping already!).

-Kae 🙂

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