Some call it luck. Fate, destiny, serendipity, God. Chance is an accidental string of events that pieces together our lives and develops who we are as people, for better or for worse. Maybe it was chance that my brother is my best friend or maybe that was the big plan all along.
We don’t ever ask for siblings. We can’t. It’s up to biology. And parental libido.
But I admired my brother from the first day I could understand he was my brother. I was 4 years old when I started wearing his clothes, asking to tag along with him on his play dates and demanding to sit next to him at the dinner table. He was 6 years old but to me he seemed wise beyond his years. My mom even told me one time I peed all over the floor because I wanted “to pee like Elliot! Standing up!”
As we grew older, though, things changed. He never had time to hang out with me and was always working. He no longer saw my imitation as the “highest form of flattery.” Somewhere along the line we weren’t brother and sister anymore – we were competitors, for parental love and academics alike.
It started around high school that both our parents and teachers made it blatantly obvious that my brother was a genius and that I had some big shoes to fill. He was a math prodigy and an all-around knowledge connoisseur. I wanted to be better than him at everything. According to my mom, when we were young we argued over who had the cooler penis.
I was trying so hard to be everything that I wasn’t. By sophomore year, I was so against math that I immersed myself in journalism to shut out all the standards my brother set for me.
So, it was up to chance that I ended up loving journalism. Now I’m a Medill Cherub and a rising Editor-in-Chief. Our differences have made my brother and I stronger than ever. Chance showed my what I want to do for the rest of my life even though I had to fight the desire to be like my brother. For chance, I am eternally grateful.