This one is dedicated to one of my lil brothers. (I have two lil bro’s, and a younger sister).
My brother, 14, is starting his GCSE’s soon (this week). I remember a few months ago, when he was deciding what options he’d take – how we were sitting in the lounge and talking about each option block and what would fit best according to his interests… (I don’t usually sit, i like to prance around and do my thinking like this – weird, I know).
Rewind to a week ago, or so, I was just about to head out to go for dinner, but I had about 20 minutes to spare. Here’s a bit of background:
My brother and I began talking about life, and he asked me what I wanted to be. I still shudder at that question – because honestly, I have no idea how life is going to play out. I was not going to lie to him and say, “I want to be a clinical psychologist/researcher, and thats what I will do”. Instead, I explained to him, that honestly, I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet… I still have a year left of university, and I told him, that I intend to either work for a year or two after, to get a feel of different areas. Or, by that time, if I am more certain and have the money to do so/IF I could get a scholarship, take a masters course. I’m not sure he fully understood that. I think, at that young age of 14, we think “adults” should have their shit worked out. He probably was thinking, “how can you not know!”.
It was then that I kind of had a light bulb moment… I am the eldest child. My parents didn’t go to university. Everything I did, was literally the first time experience for everyone in my family. Thus, I realised, I had the power here. The power to advise or to share my experience with my lil bro! Something I could only wish I had when I was his age.
So I asked him back, “what do you want to become?”.
My brother is pretty on the ball (we often talk about things like this). I think it’s important to expose children to their potential from any age, and this was exactly what I wanted him to learn from now. He could do it. These decisions wouldn’t be the be all or end all – but they would be likely to shape who he will become.
We only had about 10 minutes left by this point, before I was off out.
He replied, “I think I want to go into software development/web design. Oh, and I’d love to be an entrepreneur one day”.
My face literally lit up. He was already half way there. He had the ambition and drive. The main component to success. He could do it. He really could. If he channelled his energy into it all and really wanted it, I told him, he could do it all.
We re-discussed what options he had picked, and queried one of them… history. Whether it was worth doing it, or instead taking an equivalent GCSE qualification in Digital I-Media. I know. There is a bit of a stigma around not taking a GCSE and taking an equivalent qualification – but honestly, from what I’ve seen people achieve from doing the equivalent, shows that there literally shouldn’t be a stigma at all. It can still get you where you want to be and ultimately, you should pick subjects you love. I don’t know if he’ll change that subject or not. Maybe he doesn’t want to go through all the fuss, as he suggested. Or, maybe he’ll just stick with what he chose in the beginning. Either way, I’m not too worried. I know he got this.
I left. Upon coming back a few hours later, I came upstairs and saw him writing in a notepad. This was pretty unusual for my gamer brother, who just about managed to finish his homework on time. So, I asked him… “whatcha doing?” and he was like, “writing down what I want to do”. My heart was so full. I jokingly said to him, “who inspired you to do that?😆” and he actually replied, “You! You actually did”.
I went to sleep a very proud sister, but it didn’t stop there. I’m writing this because, last night, I was about to start reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson and he came to hang out in my room. I couldn’t shoo him away. Or well, I tried, but he wanted to hangout. So, I compromised: I wanted to read my book, but he wanted to hang out. What happened was, I ended up reading 3 chapters of that book to him. My voice was half gone by the end of that! But I didn’t mind. Even though I had to edit out the swear words and not talking about the references to porn. It was so worth it – because he asked questions and he reflected. How amazing is that.
So yeah, just a big proud sister over here.