Sunday, May 14, 2006

Another One Bites The Dust

The other day, I called my brother Quinn and he practically chewed my head off. I thought, 'WTF?!' What the hell was up his ass, and why was he taking it out on me? I offered to drop by his place to drop off the vacuum and pick up my check, and his response was "If you come over, be presentable." I inquired as to what he meant, and he said "You know, no shorts." I didn't know why he said that, and as usual, I pondered over that statement until I came to a conclusion. Besides being a jerk, my brother seems to have crossed over to the other side. The side where money buys you a reputation and high fashion dresses your ego. I don't have the money, the fashion, or the looks. Hence, I don't fit into his world. I'm not "presentable." I'm a disgrace. Sometimes, I can read it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. I was once the one he looked up to, so he claimed, but now I've fallen from grace because I've chosen to live my life on my terms. I've chosen not to practice law, letting my degree go to waste or so he and countless others claim. But it's my life, and I make all the decisions. I used to take so many others' opinions and best interests into consideration about how I should live my life, but not anymore. Those times were difficult. Every step I took, I took with trepidation and with the weight of so many on my shoulders. So what if I choose not to buy into the world he lives in or aspires to be a part of? I don't care about money and fame. Fashion and looks were never my finest traits. I am who I am, and I'm beginning to like the person I've become. I'm so much happier than I've ever been doing what I'm doing, which isn't practicing law. So my brother can be disappointed in me and even ashamed of me. I'm better off now that I'm no longer disappointed and ashamed of myself.

Since that conversation, I've been so angry at my brother. And I'm very disappointed in him. He's changed so much these years we've been apart, and for so long I've failed to admit that he's changed for the worse. I guess I didn't want to see that ugly side of him. That side of him that looked down on others and saw only their flaws. That side of him that cared too much about what others thought of him and that desperately needed others to think he was high class. Face it, bro. We're not high class. Dad looked out of place in that suit you picked out for him. Mom's still judged by her past. I'm never going to live up to your standards as to what an older sister and attorney should be. You're never going to survive in this world if you continue down the path you're on. I've been there, and it was hell. I took that year off because I couldn't stand the pressure that I put upon myself, caring about what others thought about me and failing to heed what my heart wanted. My heart wanted me to be at peace. To find peace within myself. To listen to my heart instead of my mind, where I kept hearing Mom's encouraging words, where I saw Dad smile at me with pride, and where I felt your admiration for me. Little did I know that these thoughts would break me. Although they were inspirational, they were also detrimental to my well being. They were constantly in my head, pushing me to be someone I knew I would never be. When the truth became clear, those thoughts simultaneously became heavy. So heavy that I began to drown. I could hardly breath. I guess you could say that I had a mental breakdown last year. I couldn't face the world until I came to terms with myself. And now I have. I'm living my life on my own terms. I'm making decisions based on what's best for me. For the first time in a long time, I can breathe again.

That's what I thought about my brother and his statements until I came upon some ghastly news last night. I discovered that my brother didn't pass the bar exam. Duh! Now it all makes sense. He chewed my head off and said those awful things to me because he was upset and angry. I remember the feeling. I think I'll forgive him this time. What else can I do when another one bites the dust? I feel sorry for him, but there's a part of me that's almost glad he didn't pass. Evil of me, no? I just want him to learn something from all this. I want him to learn that things don't come easy in life and people aren't perfect. Maybe next time, he won't judge others too harshly because they haven't lived up to some standard.

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