Sunday, September 16, 2007


I had to share this photo of myself and my brother taken last month at my graduation. I will probably hear him fussing at me for posting his picture, but give him a break, he is a conservative/atheist and knows not the sentiment with which I write.

He probably isn't aware, but my brother has been a great source of motivation for me through these past few years as I struggled through school while raising my children and working too. Periodically I received from him little cards that were such moments of encouragement that pushed me to keep on going. I still have the cards and reflect on them when I am frustrated, or feeling defeated and worn out. We have always been close, my brother and I.

Currently, my brother is in the middle of a tough decision, wrestling with deciding whether or not to better his career (in which he excels)by moving to a large, unfriendly city or remain in the city in which he presently lives, and wait for the next career jump-start, hoping that it will be closer and in a more attractive, alluring place to reside. You see, my brother is so good at his job that other firms desire his presence and contribution; he is only 28 and has been out of school for a mere three years. Like, wow. Can you tell I am a bit proud of my little brother?

What makes this a hard choice is the fact that much of his happiness lies in his favorite pasttime--running; a passion he has fervently followed for many years now, and to which he dedicates most if not all of his spare time. He runs marathons at the drop of a hat, facilitates running events, participates in a running training group, and is training for an ultra-marathon next month. If he chooses to move, this particular pasttime of his will undoubtedly suffer b/c of the locality. In the other city, it is hot and all you see for miles is concrete. There are few, if any, lush areas, no trails, and no familiar safe neighborhoods with overly-abundant trees and beauty like where he is now.

What should he do? Which is more important? Happiness, stability, and predictability? Money? The chance to move up the corporate ladder? Would the sacrifice be worth it? What would you do?

Hang in there little brother, things will pull together and the fog of indecisiveness will lift. Trust your judgement, you will not fail yourself.


slouching mom said...

What a moving tribute, and a lovely picture of the both of you.

I am sure he'll make the right decision, even if it takes some time.

Omaha Mama said...

I say stay where you can run. There will be other opportunities, from better cities!!! Great tribute to your brother, who sounds awesome. And way to go you! For finishing school.

blooming desertpea said...

You two look great and one can read between the lines that you really love him.

Well, with the wisdom of today I would say it's not the money but happiness that is most important - I would choose the one place or the one job that would make me feel at ease.

No, no sacrifices (for me) - there will always be doors opening whatever way we go.

blooming desertpea said...

I nearly forgot:

Congrats on your graduation! I've told you before that I really admire you for your courage!

niobe said...

I can hear that you love your little brother just the way I love mine. A few years ago, my brother faced a somewhat similar decision about a move. He moved to the faraway city, stuck it out for awhile, but then, luckily, was able to move somewhere else, where he's been much happier.

I'm sure your brother will find his way to the place where he belongs.

painted maypole said...

a great tribute, indeed. He sounds like a smart guy, and he'll take whatever decision he makes and turn it into the right one

(and you!! look how proud you are! go you!)

mitzh said...

Nice photo, you both look lovely.

This is indeed a very nice and sweet tribute to your brother.

He seems to be smart and I am sure that he will make the right decision.

Christine said...

oh he sounds wonderful--i bet the right decision will come and hopefully bring hi much happiness.

Jen M. said...

Congrats on the degree! Hard earned!

RealAge22 said...

Well Sis, I'm forced to admit that your comments about me brought an actual tear to my eye (but don't worry, I squeezed it back in before it fell, so it doesn't really count). But, I guess that's to be expected from us conservative/atheists - a title that is as counterintuitive as it is true.

It is nice to hear that I've been a source of inspiration. Sometimes I feel like I just sort of bumble through life making random decisions and corrections, and waiting for the next buffet of passivity to present itself.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity to stress that my decision was not one between my passions and comforts weighed solely against the almighty dollar. The job opportunity in my eyes comes hand in hand with the chance to experience a new place, new people, and the chance to make a fresh start. It's a way for me to take the experiences of my last 3 years in charlotte, wrap them up in a nostalgic little bundle, and say, "This has been a great phase of my life. I'm ready to move on and face the challenges and new experiences of a brand new environment." Risky? Maybe. Scary? Most decidedly. But I made the decision a long time ago not to succumb to the comfort and easiness of the boredom-construction trend. You have one life and it passes in the blink of an eye. I want to experience everything I possibly can, know as many interesting people as my feeble mind can hope to remember, and have as many adventures as this world will allow.

So, in closing, I would like to say, sis, that you are also an inspiration to me. You follow your heart more fiercely and steadfastedly than anyone I have ever known or even read about (and lord jesus christ knows I read more than a bed-ridden monk). And somehow, even in the face of insurmountable odds, you always make everything work.

"There was the whole day ahead - and the world to hunt in."
~Beryl Markham

Amy York said...

You are a lucky girl! I don't think he'll be too upset about 11 women saying what a good looking guy he is? :) I hope he makes the decision he feels is best for him... Will one city take him away from you (distance wise that is)? I definitely think happiness is more important than money ~ especially if you have enough to have a good life (meaning a roof over your head, food in your belly, and the ability to explore this beautiful world a bit). Keep us posted!

ZEROCOOL said...

Congrats on your graduation, you are one tough lady there. When it comes to your brother's decision, I think he said it all, he has made his decision so we can only say all the best to him and I am sure that is a wise one. Good Luck and I see the love between you and your brother.

ewe are here said...

It's lovely you are so close to your brother. I wish him luck in his decision making; he'll know what the right choice for himself is. And, if for some reason his choice doesn't work out for him, he can always regroup and make a new choice.

Congratulations on your graduation.