Why is it always the people with the biggest problems that look as if they’re suffering the least. I mean take rich people for example, they have everything, both in the aspects of needs and wants. But yet they still find something to complain about that’s distancing their life from “perfection.” Now I’m not saying people don’t have problems, no, but as I sit and watch as my brother’s life slowly begins to crumble I can’t help but wonder where it all went wrong. Perhaps it was when he put a ring on the very person that would, just a few years later, divorce him taking their kids with her. Or maybe it was the new job that caused him to move away and ultimately distance himself from his family, all for just a few extra bucks an hour. 

         I, on the other hand, didn’t even go to college, nor am I making anything close to what he’s earning, yet somehow I’m the one with a smile on my face, despite struggling to take care of my beautiful Elizabeth and our 2 year old daughter, Joy. Though I believe in God I can’t help but question the very society that makes up this country. We live in a nation where those at the top seemingly have everything they could ever want, except the very aspect of happiness.

        The youth of today are being taught the key to happiness, to success, lies in the digits of your bank account but in reality it causes temporal joy and a great amount of internal distance within one’s self. I believe there are two types of happiness, there’s happiness that comes from distraction(which I will dwell on shortly), and there’s happiness that comes from peace and contemptment. In the former, I speak on the problems and struggles people face but because they’re too distracted to care about their well-being they don’t have the ability to ponder on just how bad their life is. Most people that say their life is good are too distracted to realize just how terrible it is. 

     Peace and contemptment is the only true form of happiness. That’s why it’s so hard to obtain it. Whether it’s war, government unity, relationships, peace is knowing there are problems in life, but they’re problems I can handle with a sense of confidence. It’s realizing God wouldn’t give me these tribulations if he didn’t think I could handle it, and furthermore, it’s realizing it’s all for my benefit. It’s no coincidence that those who value spirituality seem to thrive the most, despite perhaps not being the richest or most wealthy. 

    But I don’t understand, truly, how all it takes is. One. Bad. Day, to cause a wretched life. This is not the story of me, or even my brother, but of life. It’s a story of struggle and problems, a story of romance and destruction, but it also carries the resolution of peace and contemptment. It all began when…

CHAPTER 1 11/30/14

   They say the 16th birthday is supposed to be special but gotta say, I’m not feeling it. Coincidently, my younger brother was born on the same day and unlike me, he’s having the time of his life. We collectively(not really) decided to go ice skating and I instantly regretted not staying home. While I’m trying to grasp the stupid skates hes surrounded by a crowd of friends hyping him up to do numerous tricks. To be fair I was never the social one, having spent most of my life in my brother’s shadow. But he had a way with people that I just could not understand. Whenever there was a party, he was at the center of it. Whenever there was a question, he’d be the first to raise his hand..yes, were in the same grade. 

  Despite being shorter, athletically inferior, and antisocial, I did have one trait over the kid, independence. Working almost everyday allowed me to become self-reliant and sufficient in my needs. Through my physical labor, I became far more introverted than my sibling but unfortunately that has its cons. 

  With the aid of a breakup, my depression became transparent in my words, actions, physical shape, and through my music. The few friends I had became scared for and perhaps even of me that they recommended counseling, which in my eyes is useless because no one understands me as best as I do. After a few weeks of isolation, I decided to put my feelings on pen and paper which proved to be a bit beneficial as I became friends with my past. It didn’t solve anything however. I was still the same lonely, depressed, sad, angry, and confused kid for what would go on to be almost 6 months and counting. I felt as if no one could save me, not one, as I searched for my cure and each time came up empty. All those months ago I used to know the meaning of happiness, but now the feeling is so vacant. I yearn for someone like me but I’ve come to the conclusion that’s impossible as I find myself time and time again being backstabbed by those I love most. 

  But now as I sit here gazing at my brother, I can’t help but wonder how long? How long until I find that missing piece, the very thing keeping me from the coveted subject of happiness. Today is my birthday but it feels just like any other day, if not worse. It’s quite obvious I’m in pursuit of recovery, but there is no remedy for this pain. Everyday that goes by I wonder if there’s someone out there, someone I can relate to that God is just waiting to drop into my life. And that’s the optimism keeping me afloat, or perhaps it’s the very thing drowning me slowly, but surely, into the depths.

~~~

    “Jacob, get over here!” My parents were never visibly biased when it came to their kids but it was certainly there. And I’m not saying that in my brother’s favor, but believe it or not, I’m considered the favorite based solely off of who gets in trouble less. See Jacob has this weird theory that because he gets in trouble more often, he carries the assumption our parents love me more. If anyone were to be considered the “favorite”, it would be our little sister, Maddie. It could be the fact she’s 9 years old, but when we were her age, we were certainly not as spoiled as her.

    Out of the three of us, however, she is the most loveable. If I had to choose who to talk to about my feelings with, I would pick Maddie despite her tender age. Factor out the point she’s a snitch,  she can be the sweetest, most caring little girl you’ll ever meet. There were times I’d come home and she’d ask me what’s wrong, even though on the outside I look perfectly fine. 

  When it comes down to it, Corey isn’t really the “sibling” type. Even at school, he tries to avoid the fact he has a brother in the same exact class as him. I don’t really care, but it just goes to show that in this family, you have to look out for yourself, or no one else will, which is why I was surprised when Corey yelled at me to come over for the “Happy Birthday” song.

“…Happy birthday dear Coreyyy and Jacobbb, happy birthday to you.” While all his friends sang in unison with our family I just sat there and wondered why THEY SAID HIS NAME FIRST WHEN I’M OLDER. Life.

CHAPTER 2   12/04/21

    You know the worst part about being white in a predominately hispanic school? When everyone decides to speak spanish for no reason, and you can’t help but get the feeling they’re talking about you for some reason.

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