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November 25, 2007

Illumination - additional comments

The past Thanksgiving holiday illuminated to me the true meaning of a family bond. Being in an immediate family of four has allowed me to be thankful for always having a sibling around. My brother is very close to be in age; being less than one year older than me, we have always done things together. We played on the same soccer teams, played tennis against each other and even had the opportunity to study for the same class while attending rival schools (my brother graduated from OSU last year). To better understand my illuminating experience of Thanksgiving break, it is essential that you understand how I was raised by my parents, and how that has affected my mindset as an individual.

My father was born and raised in Greece. Immigrating over to the United States with his brother at the ages of 16 and 15 respectively, they were forced to understanding the true meaning of a sibling bond. Neither my father nor my uncle understood how to read, write and speak English, however, they both managed to make their way in an unfamiliar place. They relied upon each other for things that normal Americans do not. Eventually, my father payed for my uncle to obtain a college education. He did this because he loved him. Needless to say, my father and uncle are very close; matter of fact, my entire Greek family (some who still live in Greece) speak daily.

I myself was raised this same way. Having a brother whose interests mimic mine, we have participated in almost everything together. We think the same. We share mutual friends. We even are successful on a relative scale; that is why spending my first Thanksgiving away from him had been an illuminating experience.

My brother an I are both interested in business finance, specifically investment banking. Investment banking requires putting in over 100 hours a week; it is more uncommon to have a free weekend than it is to enjoy one. That being said, the job is stressful, time consuming, and decisions are always made at the last minute. Having an investment banking internship this summer illuminated me to this fact (perhaps another illuminated moment although it already occurred), however, my parents were not. Once my brother called our house to let us know he could not join us for Thanksgiving due to work responsibilities is when my illuminating moment struck. Simply put, I realized how much I have taken for granted my family always being around me, and how I will be sacrificing what seems like a luxury of the bond I share with my brother.

For 21 years of my life, I have spent sharing every holiday with ALL of my family; this is no more. The sense of home and feeling of togetherness and security is no longer. I finally realized that it is time for me to start making a new home once I graduate college and enter the workforce. Although I believe that many people may have a similar illuminating moment, I believe mine has been amplified due to my family upbringing and values they have instilled within me. Visiting distant cousins in Greece almost every summer can be no longer what I look forward to with my brother, father and mother. No longer will I be able to play tennis with my brother every day of the summer or kick around a soccer ball. No longer will I have such a close relationship with my brother and have an opportunity to confide with him in every little decision I make. No longer will I have this guidance. My illuminating moment is the urgency to find a compromise between success in my career and my family and how do I plan to keep everything I adore so much about my life.

The biggest problem may not have even been addressed; none of my family members are about to do what I will; that is, work 100 hour weeks in a city that is out of driving distance. None will know the stress I am under or the responsibilities I will hold. I will have no one to confide in; yes my brother will be doing the same thing, however he will be too busy to talk just like I was this summer and just like he was this Thanksgiving break. That leaves me with my illuminating moment of being alone, really really alone.

As I think of my situation, and the situation of my brother, I can't help but think of the famous poem written by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken." If you are unfamiliar, you can go see the poem here
.

My favorite lines of the poem are the last two (my version):

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made
all


the difference


I feel these two lines (or in my version, 4-excluding spaces) most closely resemble the life choices I have made and how it will impact me, my family, and the relationships I hold with them. It is because of these choices that I am who I have become today, and also how I will raise my children. My only hope is that my children will share the same bond my father has with my uncle, or like I have with my brother; I hope that sense of family values stays intact.

Posted by helefter at November 25, 2007 04:34 PM

Comments

Thank you for including this poem which is so strongly associated with choice, and consequences of choice, with having options (multiple tines or prongs), and how choice is made that it feels strange if this poem doesn't appear in a discussion of choice, consequences of choice, etc.

An intensity of being alone often occurs for me in the situation of making a poam, something I do within my own thoughts (and the links that are part of the networks involved in thinking). Making and sharing the poam (the product of an act of making) tend to occur simultaneously for me. The existence of the poam often urges me to seek community, to share the poam, so I so far do not inhabit a situation of making that is not interrupted by sharing (I say this although the act of making is collaboration but often with forms, representations of what is linked in neural networks, and not the actual things/situations on which those links are based, so I am alone as an "actual" participant in the collaboration).

I like thinking of the links formed in thinking as bonds (of varying intensity).

Thanks also for this consideration of an allness of family --my son who is now 16 will soon (too soon) act upon more and more of his own life decisions, in locations inside and outside of some of the limits/definitions of "home" --and yet certain uses of an allness of family will not be broken, but reconfigured; he may become part of an allness of family that includes his own children, his own love interests, an allness that may intersect with an allness in which he is son, brother without intersecting completely.

Posted by: thyliasm at November 26, 2007 07:10 PM

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