The someone in question being my brother. I am currently in the process of applying to the doctoral program at three universities. When he called to speak to mom today, he asked about the stipend I might expect, living arrangements, food etc and suggested that perhaps I should apply to a few more universities. This tiny gesture of his encouraged me a lot and made me throw myself into the application process with re-doubled vigor.
A little background here will make it clearer why this affected me so much. Both my siblings are much older than me. My bro is 12 years older than me and my sis is ten years older. You would expect that with such a huge difference in ages, they would behave more like my parents, boss around, give (unnecessary) advice which would ultimately turn out to be beneficial etc. But they do nothing of that sort.
My sister behaves even more juvenilely than I do. In fact, she sometimes approaches me for advice.. but when I try to ask her advice on something that might be bothering me, she either has zero interest in listening or has absolutely no opinion or advice to give whatsoever on that matter. It's just so frustrating.. Aaargh..
But my brother is worse. My sis is at least a buddy to me if not an older sis. My bro just has no clue what I am or what I have been doing. We have never had a single conversation in our entire lives. He left home when I was about 10 years old and he was 22 because of his job and after that his interaction via letters or calls was mostly with mom. He wasn't there to see me grow up and become an adult. Perhaps he still sees me as that pre- teen kid who is not worthy of conversing with.. God alone knows..
I remember a character in some movie or soap talking about this kid who received a shiny new digger as a gift and used to dig with it in his garden. Whenever there were people watching the kid and the digger dig, the kid would say, "Let's go faster, digger." and dig with greater enthusiasm. I am like that kid.. Not that I won't dig when there are no people around but I do dig a little bit faster when there are people watching and today I felt like there was someone watching.. It's a nice feeling..