Lesson #295: Oh brother.


Before the day escapes me,

I have to tell you about the conversation my brother and I had in the car the other day.

Now, my little brother is the definition of a wild child.

He was crazy in high school. Smoking, drinking, partying—all that teenage stuff.

Me? Eh. Not so much. You could catch me hanging out after school in the Student Council clubhouse or on stage with the Drama Club—and if you were lucky—getting tipsy after Prom.

When we were little, I didn’t like him very much. He used to tug on my ponytails and fart in my face.

It’s safe to say we’ve gotten past that point now.

After him being away in Florida for some time, and me being away at school, my little-not-so-little brother and I have developed a much deeper relationship than we’ve had in the past. From sharing funny vines through text messages, to hanging out when we’re both at home on breaks, to getting Taco Bell at Happy Hour—I’ve actually talked to him, and figured out that he’s not half bad.

He’s actually a pretty cool guy.

In the past, discussing our differences usually involved a lot of yelling and being misunderstood. But for the first time in our lives, we can actually discuss and reflect on our differences civilly—and even find similarities.

On the car ride, we talked about growing up, where we are in our lives now, and about making moves for our future.

About half-way through the conversation, I turned to him and asked, almost rhetorically: “Will I regret it?”

“What?” He said.

“Like, I don’t know. Not going crazy? Not being all wild, and getting plastered every weekend, and sleeping around?”

I know. These actually words came out of my mouth. But I continued.

“Will I regret not taking advantage of it while I can? Before I have responsibilities and a family and bills and kids?”

I’ve always been labeled as the “good” and “innocent” and “responsible” one.

But it’s safe to say I have my fun.

I’ve had my nights over the toilet. I’ve danced on tables. I’ve kissed a few frogs (though—surprise—they never turn out to be princes). But honestly, I’d much rather spend my Saturday night sitting at home with my face in a book, or my eyes glued to Netflix, or hanging out with friends. It’s funny, because I’m the farthest thing from shy or quiet. But I’d much rather be laying in my bed or out with friends than to be sweating at some frat house.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sweating and touching random people at a frat house can be fun—if you’re into that kind of thing.

But my version of fun is adventure. I’m not talking about sailing across the ocean or climbing a mountain. But just trying new things. Reading a new book. Exploring the city with friends. Going somewhere I’ve never been, or taking a spontaneous road trip. I like finding fields and looking up at the stars, or getting lost somewhere and just going with it.

I’ve never gone what one might call… crazy. I’ve never had that period in my life where I just went absolutely bananas. Who knows—maybe I’m speaking too soon. But I’ve just always been this way. Sometimes, it concerns me. Am I missing out? I don’t know. That’s why I asked my brother, the expert on it all.

Will I regret it?

Who knew the guy could be so wise.

He didn’t hit me with a “YES! DO IT! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!” or a “No. Why fuck up now?”

He hit me with this.

“Here’s my thing. If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. If it does, do. Regret doesn’t matter.”

And maybe that’s what it’s all about.

“Living it up” doesn’t equate to “Going crazy while you can.”

It never has.

Living it up means doing what makes you happy with your time on this earth, no matter what that may be. No matter where you’re at in your life.

Who cares what you think you’re missing out on? Who cares what you think you’ll regret?

If it makes you happy, do it.

If it doesn’t, don’t.

Honestly, I often feel a little bit out of place sometimes. But that’s okay. Because what makes me not like most people makes me happy. And that’s all that matters.

It’s funny how distance can bring you closer.

Little brother might just know best.

Day 295.


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