I am the oldest of three brothers- do I deserve a pat on the back? Probably not. There are many advantages that I've had that they are now beginning to realize that I've enjoyed uncontested. For instance, when I was a drummer, I could dictate the rhythm of a song, my human slip ups in speed and tempo included. Now the youngest has become the musician of the family, with an obsession for perfection, uses a loop pedal for to dictate the rhythm of the songs he makes in the garage- he scorns the way I play, because I can't be perfect for him.
We are very close knit, but the relationship between the two younger brothers are much closer. I have a shroud that I hide in: it's that I am the oldest, and therefore the test subject our family has released into the world. I have experienced many different things so they don't have to. They don't have to learn the pains of starting their own business. They don't have to live the lavish lifestyle of a late night stoner. They don't have to fall head over heels with the liberal arts. They don't have to be great in things that don't matter to them. My two youngest brothers have a better sense of what to do with their lives, now that I have come back to our family home, tail between legs, in bed sheets for hours- no pat on the back for me.
Be better than me. They are going to college for engineering, but like the engineering mindset they've espoused, they know what they need to stay in balance. One has picked up a productive love with his creative endeavors- his output at this point is already 10 times the size of mine, he's teaching his friends how to shoot videos and play music, he's learned from my mistake of keeping one's creative energy in one's head. The other has focused on the stable things in life, reaching out and keeping close to our extended family, being frugal and fiscally responsible, keeping in shape, he's learned from my mistake of living in a world of ideas without care for what I really am.
I'm the shitty older brother, but I'm working on it. I promise.