One of my favorite Earthlings is my brother, who is mentioned – or photographed – very rarely in this blog. Picture my brother, Dimitris, as a taller, smarter, wiser and – ironically – 4,5 years younger version of me.
No, I’m taking this last sentence back. My brother and I are not versions of each other. On the contrary, we have very different characters, which gives me the opportunity to constantly learn and draw inspiration from him.
Every day I spend around him is a valuable lesson, but I tried to pick out only three of the things that I’ve learned from by brother:
He has no guilty pleasures. D. has his own interests, inclinations and favorite things, and pursues them no matter what. For instance, his evil older sister has been forever making fun of him because of his appreciation of Yu-Gi-Oh! – the series but most importantly the card game, but he has been doing a great job at completely ignoring her and continuing to spend his time and money with the game he enjoys. Same goes with books, TV series, habits, haircuts, lack of understanding for the miracle of coffee and the occasional odd food combination. More or less, my little brother has mastered the art of not caring about other people’s opinions; sometimes even to our mother’s despair with regard to his sartorial choices. In addition, he does not feel the urge to like things that are deemed cool or legitimate just for the sake of it.
He works hard, but most importantly smart. When D. is studying, he is 110% concentrated on what he is doing. He steers clear of multi-tasking – unless it concerns eating cereal while watching TV – and he will frequently ask me to come back later in case I walk into his bedroom while he’s learning or solving math problems and am in the mood for some chit-chat. He’s smart (even though he probably won’t acknowledge it), but I think that what sets him apart is his ability to stay incredibly focused while he’s studying. While doing anything really. And, as a result, he has time management figured out, too: Since he is concentrated and methodical with his studying, he is more efficient with his time and has thus the ability to alternate between study, friends, girlfriend, hobbies, cuddling with the cat and going on foodie adventures with his sister.
He avoids drawing comparisons.Comparing myself with friends or people who you see online is rather unavoidable for me. No matter how lucky I’ve been in life so far (#blessed all the way), I can’t help but feel envy of someone who is prettier, knows a couple languages more (the eternal languages students struggle), possesses some impressive skill, has traveled more, is prettier/wealthier/more photogenic/carefree/outgoing, can do a backflip, dances the tango, and the list goes on. We’ve had this sort of conversation with D. multiple times and he always draws the same conclusion: Yes, he could have a six pack. Visited a couple more countries. Read Tolstoy (as if). But he didn’t and, for him, it is totally fine. He does not feel the need to compare himself to the things other people have and do, because he is busy doing things that are fun and meaningful to him, and him only.
Opposites attract, they say. Indeed, my brother and I are very different but understand each other very well (after a few bumps along the road during adolescence) and enjoy each other’s company whenever we get the chance, taking into consideration that we have been living apart for the last five years. I can’t put into words how much I admire him as a person and how much I value his ideas and his advice – the good, the weird and the slightly unrealistic.
Overly sentimental (as always),