Life is Hard — It’s Harder When You’re Stupid.

One thing that scares me is living a life without a sibling.

It comes to my thoughts that living as a single child in a family is tough. To me, the existence of a sibling is paramount for sharing purposes. It can be from some trivial stuff, like video games or serious ones, like a family load.

A sibling is a personal peer to share some personal matters that you can’t share with your parents. Don’t get me wrong, but some stuff is just not quite relevant to be shared with parents. You know, sometimes, parents just can’t relate to teenagers’ issues. A sibling of similar ages is like a friend to share some personal stuff.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I’m blessed for having a younger brother. Albeit, we are not very close in terms of age — 11 years gap, but we are solid as siblings.

He grows up quicker recently. He was so short a few years back, but now we’re at the same body height. I believe there’s still a high chance that he shall be taller than me.

He was too young not having a dad by his side. This dark moment suddenly surprised everyone when he was still in elementary school. He was sleeping when dad passed away. I, on the other hand, was not there to see dad for the last time. Only our mom with some relatives was there witnessing our dad’s last breath. Nobody in our family was ready with this short bitter surprise.

Once our dad was passed in 2015, I feel more blessed for having him by my side. He was like a reminder to me that I was not alone in facing this tough time. I have him. He was like a reminder to me that I was not alone to welcome the dark period. We have become closer and more solid since then. We take care of mom together. When I left him abroad for my master's degree in 2016, he was a solo fighter to ensure that mom was alright.

Under this circumstance, it’s my role to be such multi figures for him: a father, a brother, and a friend. I felt it was a tough role. It was my earlier thought for feeling not ready for suddenly having such a huge responsibility. But then, I look at him. A poor young boy crying in the corner. I was trying to figure out how he felt. I tried to place myself on him. That time, I heard a silent scream in my head.

“I must be ready to take this responsibility.”

It was tough earlier to picture myself to be an ideal brother, a fatherlike figure, and a friend to him. Dealing with a Gen Z with his complex issues and are not an easy matter. He is a gamer. He can spend more than 4 hours a day on a game. He forced mom to finish the Mobile Legend game one day when he had an English course schedule. He cannot even finish a book I gave him in some years back. He was bad English, even though I always encourage him to learn and not to mention the number of courses he already followed.

Photo by Zana Latif on Unsplash

As I have learned, those are a typical Gen Z. A tech geek and quite dependant on the electronic screens. Perhaps he became like that following Dad’s loss.

I believe he will be a better man in the future. Once he knows, he knows.

Slowly I have managed to get used to. I got an earlier parenting education from a practical experience. Living alongside him has grown me to be a better human being.

I always said this to him: “Life is hard. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — I remember getting these words from one post on 9Gag.

As I see, there is a positive side to the pandemic story. I was unemployed till now — while waiting for the final prose to join a company. So, I have spent time for months with him at home. We shared time together: cooking experiments, brewing coffee, short trip nearby home, playing badminton, watching football, playing video games, and so on. These are gold moments.

You have to know that it’s not easy for me to write this story. I know my brother doesn’t know anything about Medium. I believe he has no interest at all with this kind of stuff — it is my wish that someday he will change.

This story is written as a part of the ‘30 days of writing challenge’ — Day 11.