That guy I used to live with…

I’m talking about my brother, of course. He messaged me the other day and it was one sentence: “Here’s some bands you might like: (and I don’t even remember the bands”

That’s when I realized that I literally haven’t talked to my brother since January 2nd when he went  back to university.  To me, that seems like the strangest thing ever.  How is it that someone who I lived with for the first fifteen years of my life can *poof* disappear out of it completely?

Pal and I have always been close, but we’re opposites. He’s the musician, I’m the athlete. He’s the sciencey one, and I’m the writer. We don’t even look alike. While he got my parent’s brown hair and hazel eyes, I am the genetic freak with blonde hair and blue eyes.  Somehow, however, we always talked about everything. He knew about all of the mean girls and cliques in my 6th grade class, the boys I crushed on in junior high, and my fights with my best friend.  And he told me about being bullied in elementary, how much he secretly hated his clarinet teacher because she put so much pressure on him, and his first girlfriend who would only see him outside of school when her friends couldn’t see.

We did have our fights, although I don’t specifically remember what they were about. Pal would go weeks being moody and distant, but he would always end up wanted to talk to me about something or other, so he’d break his silence.  Pal once said that I was “the one constant thing in his life.”

That’s why when I got his message the other day, it hit a nerve.  I’m afraid that this is what growing up is going to be like.  Do you eventually outgrow the people of your childhood? If you move away does it mean that you just stop talking?  The truth is that I don’t know how to stay in touch with my brother because I’ve never had to put any effort into our relationship before this; he’s just always been there.  He was such a big part of my past, but  I don’t know where he fits in my future. I don’t want him to be the kind of brother that I only see on stat holidays.  There’s got to be another way. Isn’t there?

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6 thoughts on “That guy I used to live with…

  1. I’ve found that distance is healthy in any relationship. It always makes you appreciate people more. Pal will always be your brother, so you’ll have a bond forever no matter how far apart you are.

  2. I’m about to go through something very similar with my brother. We’re pretty close, but we only see each other once a month or so. In a few months, he’s moving to the West Coast. I’m really upset by it. I’m trying to squeeze in as much time with him as possible before he leaves.

  3. Well, the thing about brothers (and sisters, I suppose) is that as you grow older and don’t live together anymore you actually have to work on your relationship. When my parents got divorced when I was just a little bit older than you, my brother had been living away from home for a couple of years and I was really scared that this would mean our relationship would be affected as well. And it did, but for the better. For the first time in our lives, we both had to make an effort if we were going to talk or see each other. And to my surprise, my brother was the one who took the lead. He would call regularly, even if we didn’t have that much to say, he would still call. So now, seven years later, we’re back in the same town again and we talk at least once a week, either on the phone or in person. We’re having dinner on Friday and next week we’re going to a concert together. My brother and I are quite different, just like the two of you seem to be, but as you say, he’s the only person who’s been there for the whole journey and seen both the good and the bad and that is so incredibly valuable. So, my advice: call your brother! Call him once a week, even if he never calls you back, even if it seems you’re doing all the work in the beginning, but call him anyways!

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