Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Break Even


I’m back, and it’s not about extra letters this time (sorry). As his older brother, obviously I’m the biggest and most radical critic of Jake’s posts. However, as embarrassing and exaggerated as some of them are, his most recent really hit home. You know something has significance in your own life when you immediately empathize with it.
While Jake missed out on some dope outings we had before he got home, his attempts to create a sense of solidarity in a partially damaged group of friends were valiant, but mostly unsuccessful. While this post takes on a few points, the one I want to focus on is keeping in touch with old friends that are miles apart.
Jake lived 9 houses down from mine. From the days where we played Pokémon and I swung him around in my front yard, to when I froze him behind his house during freeze tag and subsequently ran home (leaving him there frozen) and ultimately when he joined me at Park, we’ve pretty much spoken every single day for at least 12 years. I remember when he whipped out his first cellphone (a krzr) at his bar-mitzvah luncheon (he looked dapper), seeing him roll up in his first car (a red Jetta, you can’t miss it) and when he got into Emory (a miracle, really). And, although our colleges are relatively close compared to the rest of our boys, we still only manage to communicate a few times a week.
When it comes to others, communication is even more infrequent. Regardless of what happened in high school, I firmly believe that communicating with people from home frequently is just a hard thing to do on a day-to-day basis. Although I don’t talk to some people as much as I’d like to/should, it just makes seeing them at home that much better. While Jake emphasized the pitfalls of his “tough break,” I’d like to do the contrary, convey the highlights.
Each time I have come home for break, I’ve found a new appreciation for someone from my days back in the 410. Some petty grudges have been revoked, while others withstand. It really helps you weed out who may actually remain a close friend of yours as the school days slowly draw to a close. While I believe that people do change, I haven’t seen much change in anybody, yet. It’s unfortunate that Jake didn’t get to experience this quintessential idea he had of winter break, but it’s not time for him to give up yet (although the submission of his Camp Androscoggin application makes it quite clear). Baltimore will be Baltimore, and the ‘Ville will be, well, you really have to see it for yourself. But at the end of the day, that’s what life is. Although it’s a harsh reality, it’s probably hit some sooner than others.
Each break has brought something new. New phrases are coined and memories are made. Hopefully all of the people you consider your “friends” will read these posts and have the same realization as you, Jake. They’ll learn to cherish these short but sweet breaks. They’ll learn that home will always be home, regardless of how settled in we all become at our respective schools. No matter how “out of pocket” you get, once you’re home it’ll all eventually go back to normal. Don’t give up just yet, Jake. People do change. Whether it’s for the better or worse is for you to determine.

 --MG