Well I’m Learnin’ to Fly.

My brother was my first best friend.

  • When I was 2, he told me that he dropped me out of a window because he didn’t like me.
  • When I was 4, he told me that mom loved him the most. (it got ugly)
  • When I was 6 and he was 8, I held his hand in the backseat of our mom’s car as we watched our parents fight in a McDonald’s parking lot. I promised him everything would be ok, even though I didn’t know if it ever would be again.
  • When I was 10, we moved to Murfreesboro. The first thing I remember was the Bubba’s Wine and Liquor on Church Street. We made a song to it which went: Bubbbaaaa’s Wiiine & Liquuoooorrr. (I know, genius)
  • When I was 11, we built a wooden ramp out of scrap lumber and trash in the back yard of my grandpa’s rental store. Long story short, I was placed in a shopping cart, 360’ed, crash-landed, and asked him if we could do it again.
  • When I was 12 I got my first video camera and thought I was a film-maker. My brother decided we should make Jack-Ass re-enactments with the weird, home-schooled, neighborhood kids. I filmed. He tortured. It was beautiful.
  • When I was 13, I tackled him in front of all the neighbor-hood kids and tried to slap him/rip his hair out. It was my first and only fight. We watched a lot of WWF. I had a lot of pent-up anger. Who doesn’t at 13?
  • The high school years for us are a little blurrier. I like to call these the dark years. Both of us were jerks, and moody, but we shared some laughs in between.

Since then, we’ve grown up a little more. Gotten a little wiser. A little more understanding.

These days, he texts me about Game of Thrones, and sends me meditation videos on YouTube. Our roles have reversed when it comes to life. He reads way more books now than I do, his grades are way better than mine. I’m the irresponsible one (who may have just called mom to reveal that she can’t make rent this month.) She reassured me that she still loves me…

 

My brother has been my best friend from the beginning. For the longest time, it was just me and him. I think back to all that we have been through and I realize just how much he has inspired me. I always have known, even when we hated each other, that he was my hero — and now I get it. From long, hot, boring summer days that turned into magical ones with gigantic, homemade cardboard forts, that we always would inevitably have to destroy,

to my favorite memory of all:

the road-trips to Fayetteville with mom. she would drive with one hand, and reach back with the other, grabbing our dangling feet that couldn’t yet touch the ground, and squeeze them. we’d give her our hands, and as we sat side-by-side in the back seat,Tyler would make up these elaborate, hilarious stories involving the Hamburgular from Mcdonald’s and monster fat people, and I would laugh until I cried, and look up at him with all the admiration in the world thinking: “my brother is the coolest guy in the whole wide world.”

 

I was talking to my best friend last night and we got on the topic of how we don’t feel like we will ever be women because we can’t cook for crap and I just want to be a kid forever. And I thought about all the guys I know who are trying so hard to be men, and how tragically they are failing at it, because they’ve got it all wrong.

I look at my brother, and I see a Man.

Someone who owns his mistakes. Who is responsible, and diligent, and strong, and humble. Someone who fights for what he wants, and has worked hard for literally everything he has ever been given. I have never met anyone who deserves the world more than him.

He has taught me so much.

I know this is long, and a lot of you don’t even know him but, if you don’t, you’re really missing out.

I just want the world to know that I love my brother, and this is for him.  

 

Image

TNT 4EVER. (our dad comes up with cool nicknames)

 

“so I’ve started out, for God knows where.

and I guess I’ll know, when I get there.”

 

 

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