I always wanted a big brother. Someone a few years older that could relay the information back and tell me how to deal with life's situations from the mistakes he made. Someone to teach me how to cheat on homework, tell me which teachers to avoid, how to drink properly, how to kiss or how to fall in love, how to stop heartbreak and how to grow up as a man, I never really had that, I had a big sister.
In the last month I have gained the experience of a big brother that was unforeseen. I didn't learn how to kiss or how to avoid rejection, that is something we all have to learn from our own differing experiences. I have ended up so far living somewhat differently from someone simply telling me how to deal with life's situations. I hope that by now I can kiss properly and I certainly hope that I know how to fall in love. In the last month I have not gained a big brother but by default I have gained a by-product of 12 temporary older siblings. Whether their knowledge was good or bad all differing in age and opinions, this became a storyboard of a month kept in captivity with all of their different stories, with nearly 500 years of joint experience.
When you're a child, a playground argument would always give him the right to tell you to grow up faster and to stand up for yourself, not to seem like a push-over or to be someone that could be picked on for being different from others. He would ask one of his older friends to teach you how to stand up for yourself if you were to ever end up in a fight, and if someone ever tries to bite your ear off, how to forgive them. As you start to grow up he would advise you not to get involved in other peoples issues when he sees you're in-between your best friend and their love interests. He would look around and tell you to look after the quiet one in the corner who stands alone, to always look deeper at the parts of that person others cant see because even though they are perceived as unliked for making controversial statements in class, its only an insecurity that all they want is to be loved and that they have no idea how fabulous they really are when you get to know them properly.
He would look from afar and tell you that the oldest member of your class is the wisest, as he had seen four months more of life than you ever could, and in that he could change your perception on life in every way, even if you never wanted to learn to tap dance. As you start to like girls he would spot the popular guy and tell you however he might get the girl at that time, its not without its complications and someone will always seem to get hurt. He noticed the know-it-all girl that would stand up at the back of class to tell the teacher he made a mistake and how she would be better to teach the class and advise that perhaps it would be better not to become best friends with her.
As you enter senior school he would sit and smile as the homely, mummy's boy would get a tattoo of his girlfriends name on his wrist which he would eventually learn to forget and start his own style as a gangster to put on a hard man image which anyone that knows him properly would see he couldn't be further away from a real gangster, and in-fact may well have a few 'regrets' up his sleeve. The most popular kid that made jokes and got sent to the headmaster could actually be one of the most misunderstood people you could ever meet, and if you're lucky, would be the first to take you to one side and tell you everything will be ok in the end. The beautiful exchange student that grew up without a family just wants what the rest of us dream of, to be truly loved.
And finally when you get to the last year when you feel you know everything you ever could he would tell you that when you get rejected by the prom queen there is a girl that you will meet in 10 years that will change every moment you have ever lived and make you believe in everything again.
Never underestimate the advice a big brother can give you, because it may well change your perception of life forever.
Ollie's Sunday Times bestselling autobiographical book Laid In Chelsea on love and relationships is out now, available on Amazon.
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