This year my family grew because I found another brother. He has completely changed my life. Even though we don't share DNA, my family and I think the world of him. He has cheered me on when I was exhausted and emotionally spent. He has offered advice, an ear to listen, and a heart that hurts when I do. Sure, he gets a salary to manage me, has an office next to mine, and I see him almost every day.
I would never have this amazing apartment and awesome roommate if Super Boss didn't suggest for months that I try to live in Boston. He told me over coffee how he found his former roommates when he had an apartment in the city. When I thought I was going to be evicted, he shared the story of how he had to find an apartment in a week a couple years ago. He helped me develop the questions I used to vet Awesome Roommate. It was so great to have him as a resource and me admitting to ANYONE that I am not confident or know something is rare and a bit difficult for me. You know what he did when I signed for this apartment? He offered me a rug from his place. It is now in my bedroom totally tying the room together.
He spent months meeting with higher ups, developing strategies with our director, and composing memos to make sure I got a raise. The scope of everything he did trickled down to me recently. There were business reasons, of course, to ensure a higher salary but to him, the fact that I was reaping the reward made him happy. He cares so much about my happiness, it sometimes gets overwhelming. When I am bogged down with stress or work, and when he is under the same burden if not more, he takes the time to acknowledge my accomplishments and makes me smile with a joke or quirky tale.
He has seen me cry and I have seen him cry. We have confided our worries to each other and have shared frustrations. When I share stuff with him, I am so acutely aware that he cares, I worry about overwhelming him. So, I try to break it down in parts by letting him know X is something I know he can't help with but I needed to verbalize it. But Y is something we can work on. He tends to forget the stories he has told me so when I remember some detail from a month's old anecdote, he is flummoxed and demands, "How did you know that?" I like to allude to long dormant superpowers but ultimately reply, "Because you told me."
He values my mother's opinion and perspectives which is when it can get weird hearing her words coming out of his mouth. On the flip side, I tend to echo his wife too. We echo each other's anxieties which is affirming but doesn't feel so hot. Because I can logic away my worries but if he also is concerned about my safety and disgruntled employees, the worry is real. He has ordered something like this for the analyst team. Every week he checks with me to see if I have been threatened.
I know he will eventually find a new job but I don't think he'll disappear from my life when that happens. For just as he has shown me such generosity and compassion, I have tried to do the same with him. We'll celebrate November 22 and January 19, our birthdays, from now on. Together.