I haven’t really mentioned my brother in any great detail on my blog before. That’s partly because I don’t tend to talk about my real-life friends or family on the internet, in case (a) they find it or (b) their employer/family/school principal find it. I don’t want to cause issues for anyone!
But I’ve talked a little bit about my sister, and she did a guest post a very long time ago, so you know about her. I also mentioned her in the post I wrote about the Frank Turner gig I went to with her. And stuff.
But today I am going to talk about my brother.
His name is Ben. He is four years older than me and occasionally reads this blog. (Hello if you are reading this.) He’s into music, studying music production, and wrote a song to some lyrics of mine the other day, which is seriously cool. I’d share it, but it’s mine. Muah ha ha.
When I was little, my brother and sister often used to gang up on me. Four and six years older than me, they were closer in age and so had more similar interests. I couldn’t play with them because I was too young. I remember that they wouldn’t let me join in their Lord of the Rings games because I hadn’t read it, and then by the time I had they were twelve and fourteen and far too old for that sort of thing.
Totally not still upset about that.
More recently, though, it’s seemed like my brother and I are a team against my sister. I’m not saying that I don’t get on well with her, because sometimes we do get on very well. I mean, she gives me all her old clothes to spare me from the ordeals of shopping. Come on. But we have our differences, and often they’re on subjects where Ben agrees with me.
Torchwood, for example.
When Miracle Day was on last year, my sister was totally against me watching it. Children of Earth had been one of the most disturbing things she’d ever watched, and I was far too young for that. Also, Torchwood is full of sex and violence (sometimes). At fifteen (which is the certification of the show, by the way) I was obviously far too innocent to cope with any of this.
I wanted to watch it because I’d seen some episodes of early series and enjoyed them; because I liked Capt Jack Harkness and because Gwen Cooper’s accent was amazing; because I’m a Doctor Who nerd and wanted to explore the world of Who a bit more… She didn’t want me to watch it. She tried to tell Mum to stop me watching it.
And Ben turned around and said to her, “It’s up to Miriam whether she watches it or not.”
Neither my sister nor my brother live at home any more, but whenever they’re staying with us and we’re having family meals, somehow it always turns into disagreements, and ninety percent of the time my brother and I have the same opinion to each other, the opposite view of my sister. I’m not really sure why this is, but I’ve got a few ideas:
My sister and I are very similar in interests. At fifteen, she wrote books and wanted to be a writer and all that – and now she doesn’t. So for the last three years she’s been telling me that I’ll be the same. “Miriam, you’re not going to want to do this forever. I used to be like you, and now I’m not.” We both like reading, we both like ballet, we watch some of the same TV shows… but that’s where the similarity ends.
Because she’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert. She’s interested in politics and I’m really not. She likes fashion; I wear her cast-offs in any old order.
My brother and I are very different. He doesn’t particularly like reading, though he’s got more into it recently. He’s never written much and was the despair of his primary school teachers. He doesn’t dance. But there are a couple of things that unite us: music, and YouTube. He watches a lot of the same vloggers as me, so he gets a lot of the references I make. No one else in my family does, so that’s a unifying hobby.
And we’re both into music. He writes songs; I write lyrics, but can’t set them to music for the life of me. He plays guitar; I play violin. He sings; I really don’t, except when I’m made to. That is one of our differences, I’ll admit.
And I think because we never had the same aspirations (he never wanted to be a writer), he doesn’t see me as a younger version of himself, so he doesn’t try to warn me off my chosen path. He once told me to do what I wanted todo, and not what anyone else wanted me to do. To believe in what I’d been writing, because I was good enough, and I could make it. To dream. My sister means well by her warnings, but they’re something that annoy me, whoever they comes from. Because writing has been my life for three years now and I’ve never stuck with anything else for so long. I’ve never had something else that I couldn’t live without the way I can’t live without writing.
So that’s what I like about my brother Ben. I never wrote about him here, and I felt like I ought to, once in a while.
Do you have any siblings? Do you get on better with one than the other, and why? Let me know in the comments :D
This post was inspired by my music teacher’s recommendation that left me listening to Simon & Garfunkel all evening yesterday after my brother’s multiple (and unsuccessful) attempts to get me into their music. I think he’d be proud of the playlist I’ve currently got playing.