157/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. For half my life, I have been envious of a certain group of people. Brothers. Not sisters and brothers but brother and brother(s). In my entire family of cousins, I am the only male that has no male sibling. All my male cousins have brothers. Although I was the oldest and was well on the path of my life, I often looked at my male cousins with envy as I wanted that brotherly bond. Growing up, I had friends who had brothers and I often wondered what that would be like and what I was missing. I guess I felt I would have been a totally different, probably better person. My mom also felt bad for me – I recall going to India when I was 18 with her for the second time in my life and most of the people who met me us would ask myself or my mom how many boys/sons there were and when I would remark that I was the only one, my comments would be met with borderline pity and sadness. This just added to my frustration. I often longed to have had an older brother who would have helped me through the tumultuous childhood and teenage years that came my way (especially with my dad being in an institution and missing a father figure from when I was about 7 to 16) and show me how to play sports and just basically be a guys’ guy. I didn’t necessarily want a younger brother as I knew that my social awkwardness (aka nerdiness) would probably have caused him some stress. Alas, none of that was to be. I eventually realized that I was fortunate in that I got a little more special treatment and attention from uncles, aunts, grandparents etc because I was the only son. I also realized that I had to step up to the plate and didn’t have anyone to rely on growing up and it has made me stronger person today. I guess we can’t really miss what we don’t have as we really don’t know what we are missing except what we perceive others have – I hope that makes sense as it took me a long time to come to that understanding. Although, I still occasionally wonder about my parallel life with that older bro and will still be a tad envious of brotherly love, I have to be thankful for a brotherless life as the life I’m living today is more than wonderful. To you brothers out there, enjoy your bonds – from the outside looking in!