Changing roles.


I have always been the youngest in the group. I was the youngest in the group of cousins when I was growing up, so being the youngest has both pros and cons you see. It would mean that all elders would be on your side in case a fight broke out, saying he is the youngest so let him win. It would also mean that the elder ones hate you for always getting away with stuff. As childhood fades away and every one begin to settle in their lives, being youngest would mean, you would get to see a lot of examples, people choosing to study abroad, people making it big here, people going the family way early in their life, people failing miserably and so on, but most importantly being youngest would mean you would get a lot of advice, not the unhelpful unsolicited kinds, when you have a doubt you have people who have just gone through that phaze just a phone call away.

I always have had a close relationship with all my cousins, so when they are in a problem any kinds they have come to me, and so have I, discussing with them things which are personal, professional, financial, emotional matters. They too have never sssshhhhh-ed me away, because they do have the soft corner for me.

One good thing about a big family is that there will be a huge age difference when it comes to a generation, now as our generation in family is almost past that education/job unsettling phaze, we have a fresh crop of people entering it. And the biggest difference is that I am no longer the youngest, and in reversal of role of sorts, I have people who I have seen start kindergarten coming up to me for college advice, for advice on what to study, what to concentrate on. Depending on me to show them what could be a good line for them to pursue in life, how about giving money advice.

Last week, I spent almost an hour discussing with one of my younger cousins, who just finished his 12th standard. He had been away studying in a boarding school, so the familiarity and comfort which we once shard living in the same house was totally gone, I remember when I was in high school, I used to teach him counting numbers and simple arithmetic, now I was discussing with him prospects of a business management carrier for him, answering him questions about a possible commerce carrier.

Suddenly in the middle of the conversation I realized, this guy was seriously listening what I got to say, believing my ideologies and theories , listening promptly points I bring out, asking questions and clearing his doubts, letting me know what he really thought about his future.

I am not used to this, somewhere in the middle of the conversation I wanted to bail out, I did not want to be that grown up, I wanted him to know I was as confused as he is, even though I am supposedly settled in job. I wanted to be there for him, just they way others had been there for me, I realized probably my elders too were unsure when they spoke to me, but may be just that patient listening and a couple of pointers helped me chose what I wanted, in a better and a more confident way, may be thats what he is looking for.

Sometimes this change of roles surprise me, sometimes shock me.


11 responses »

  1. It’s nice to be able to offer the wisdom your years on Earth have given to others. I was always the baby in my family. It’s weird now that I have kids and they need me in a way I always needed. You will however get used to it. You are growing and will find yourself the oldest in situations more and more often.

    Aimee..I really liked the way you ended the comment.

  2. u have to be to others.. that once smeone has been to u … thats the cycle of life!

    u should just enjoy yourself.. u r definitely helping them out.. dnt ya worry boy! everything is for the good.. and anyways u r worth it! not like the likes of me.. who have no idea.. what ‘advise’ to give to their own sisters 😀

    u r way better.. people take u seriously 🙂

    they never take me seriously… and well the truth is.. i dnt like being taken seriously… !

    Veens..people take me seriously?..really?

  3. Ur post made me think about how serious kids (or should I say young adults) these days are about their careers.. and I’m glad that they are weighing their options rather than jumping into the well trodden path of medicine / engineering and the likes…

    Saumya..isn’t it good that they are worrying..I like it when they do.And yep not the good old medical or engineering any more

  4. So, which one you like more, surprises or shocks? 🙂 For me also, so many examples were there at that stage. I have to take advise (forced one) from all of them. I was never intersted in taking advise and then to set-up my career based on that. Me more like that, whatever comes, will accept it! Now, my cousions still don’t come to me, but rather my uncles and aunts ask me about the various career opportunities. May be I am far to all my cousions and they don’t feel that intimacy as before. Giving advises is really a very responsible job and I am always afraid to take this responsibility……………now, I am missing my cousions 😦

    Neilina..I like neither :)…but regarding your cousins coming to you..I am sure it will happen someday..may be they are not yet serious about their career.

  5. (I couldn’t find your site because I was going to make you a card but I couldn’t link you…lol…glad you like the gold card, I’ll make one with ‘Rambler’ on it!)
    I’m the youngest of 4. I still don’t get told things as the baby of the family and I’m in my 30’s…sometimes its good that people don’t take me serious…lol
    Sometimes I just ramble…I do that when I’m nervous and I can see on their face they’re trying to bail…lol
    That’s flattering that he wanted to hear you! You should take more confidence in yourself. If you talk like you write, then you have excellent insight of things in my opinion!

    JJ..thanks for the gold card 🙂

  6. i liked this post….
    i am sort of in the middle of this huge family where people love giving advice. no do this, do that all part of growin up.
    i have got advice, never really given it.
    but the other day, my cousin came upto me to ask if she should take commerce or science and i actually didnt have an answer. i told her the pros and cons of both. but in the end it where her intrest lies.
    this role reversal did shock me and i dont think i was able to accept my role as the advice giver. seem to be changing roles so early :).

  7. If a cousin asks me if CSE is good or ECE is good, I tell him neither. Then before I start my anguish at engineering education in general, their mother or father would intervene and save the kids from my different standpoint. But the cousins like my point though!

    Destination Infinity

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