Friday, April 08, 2005

Both feet first

CJ and Bella and "Maisie Grey" Posted by Hello

I recently found out that my brother CJ is coming to visit this month! I cannot tell you how excited that I am. I am so excited, in fact, that I am dedicating this post to him...

I was thinking about CJ the other night, about his life and how everything is working out for him. CJ recently graduated from college, with honors, and a degree in Psychology. The first person in our family to graduate college. He's a stinking genius. My high school math teacher, Mr. Anglin, used to tease me that when I grew up I would be living in a cardboard box and the only person that will save me is my genius rich brother...(i guess because he is good at math?? never really figured that one out)

After college, CJ tramped around Europe for 3 months, visiting all the places he had read about, making friends and memories and photographing beautiful places and people. Just enjoying life.

He has recently decided to work, (pay off Europe debt) and save while enjoying his off time, and deciding on where he will go in the future (on to get his masters or whatever life brings him). He is an amazing cook, and recently had 2 restaurants in a "bidding war" trying to get him as their full time chef (I may have made that a little more glamorous than it really was, but I am just so proud of him)

All of this got me to thinking about when we were kids and our mom would take us to the pool. Particularly in early summer, my pool experience consisted of 10 minutes of "warm-up". I would feel the water with my hand...step back...dip in a toe...shiver...dip in an entire foot...walk around trying to work up a sweat so the cold water would hopefully feel good to me...dip in two feet...wade in from the shallow end...working my way deeper and deeper until I was absolutely miserable and just had to dip my head completely under, to get used to it.

CJ? He walked to the fence (to get a running start), ran as fast as he could, pulled his knees to his chest and just plummeted in, with both feet first. He was "used to it" in about 6 seconds.

Something so small and insignificant, but it really reflects how we live our lives, now as adults. I am so cautious, thinking that the slower I go and the more I think things out, the "water" might change, get warmer while I wait, but it doesn't. Life doesn't. CJ, jumps in with both feet first, and just deals with the "water", with life, head on... and I admire that.

When CJ was about 10 or 11, I used to pick on him mercilessly. I was bigger and stronger and meaner and it was fun for me. My Dad used to tell me, "Be careful, one of these days, YOU are going to be looking up to HIM." And he was right, but in more ways than one. I find myself, at 25 , looking up to my little brother...he amazes me and makes me proud.

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

-–Jack Kerouac


At 4/09/2005 1:38 AM, Blogger Valerie Dykstra said...

This is my favorite thing that you've ever blogged. I think. You and CJ are indeed very different, but both so very special. I love you both and I'm very proud of both of you. And by the way, CJ is just like his dad. A real bozo who never answered my emails.

At 4/09/2005 3:26 AM, Blogger mindi11 said...

Thank you so so much! I love writing about CJ. I just love him so much. I had like 500 ideas in my head of things to write about him. It's amazing that we are such good friends now, considering how much we fought as kids.
Oh, and I don't know when you emailed him, but he hasn't had internet access in several months. He moved into a new place in like December I think and hasn't been online since. Anything before December would = definite bozo-ness.


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