It's my younger brother's first day of work tomorrow. It didn't mean much to me until he knocked on my door just before he went to bed. When I opened the door, I saw him all wide eyed with a big smile on his face so giddy to tell me how excited he was about tomorrow. He was going to go get some requirements here and there with mom in the morning and he'd report to work right after.
He then asked me how he could get his own "card." What he meant was his first official savings account that mom didn't have to deposit into for him. The way he asked about it, like it was a big deal and confusing and scary, made me realize how I felt the first time I opened a bank account on my own, too. As a kid, to me, any person with a card "looked" like someone who had money. They were big shots who made their own decisions and paid for their own stuff. Of course, eventually I realized that anyone with an ID could open a bank account and that most cards don't even have anything in it!
But looking back, getting my first card still feels like a big deal... even if I barely kept any money in it. It would always be a "symbol" of my first step towards independence. I'm not fully independent yet, and I doubt I ever will be (although I'm still hoping) but I've come a long way from that first card. I still barely keep any money in it, but I now have a credit card to go with it, a mobile bill addressed to me for me and an insurance policy for myself that I pay for quarterly. I also have itineraries of trips I paid for myself and clothes and shoes and countless movie tickets and restaurant receipts I didn't ask anyone to shoulder.
But again, after two years, I barely have savings to call my card a savings account. When I look at how little a difference my balance is from when I first got the card to what I have two years later, I am reminded of how much more I need to work for my independence. It's just that now, I have a brother who is about to join the ride with me.
It sounds a good thing at first but as I thought about it some more, it suddenly hit me. I now have a brother on the same ride as I am. A ride that will eventually take us on a path away from home. A path that will lead the both of us to separate houses and new families. Families that will replace the family we have now. I suddenly felt like our dinners at home, movie weekends or ice cream runs as a family are numbered. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but my baby brother is getting his own card tomorrow? What did you expect to feel?