Mad Brad: Ch-ch-changes

In our lives there are things that we hold to be constants. Whatever they may be, we have gotten used to knowing that they exist and are true. We all know that every year new student enrollment will grow exponentially, the constant updates to textbooks will make it impossible to return them, Air-Kat will continue to freak fans out and quarter nights will make it possible to be a belligerent drunk on an off-day of the week.These things are static in nature and are taken as the normal way things go. However, it is not these things that catch my attention.It is the changes that I have witnessed in my life and the lives of those around me that make for more compelling conversation. Not all of these are as evident as the obvious construction of the evil lair codenamed Academic Building V being erected in the middle of campus, but if you take the time to search your reality you’ll find that since you’ve been in college you have changed. Whether it be maturity, tastes in music, or relationships, and whether you’ve been here for a semester or seven years, something about life that you once held constant no longer is that way.I had an epiphany that time is on the move and it’s making me older. When I turned 21 the first thoughts I had only involved how I would be 30 in nine years. Getting older is so subtly natural that you don’t notice that the minutes passing are taken off of the time you have to live. I looked up the other day and it occurred to me that I had been living in Huntsville for two and half years. Back in Houston, I don’t have a bedroom anymore. The last time I had anything close to it was a mattress and small television in my mom’s sewing room. I sleep in a hallway when I go Houston, and anything that I own at my parents house is probably there because I don’t want it.Huntsville is my new home, and if you stick around long enough it will become like a home for you, too. People say there is nothing to do here but if nothing else, you at least change. You’ll make friends and mistakes. Hopefully you’ll learn something about life. It’s all a cycle of change that involves class after class. Some of us have only 12 hours of change while people like my brother have had their run.This is the first semester for me without my older brother Byron on campus. Up until this semester, I have been able to experience Sam with him, but as I walked through the mall area on the first day of class, I realized that I would not see his awkward facial expressions. He graduated and now he’s off being a man in the world working something called a job. After seeing the change in him, I realized that I’ve grown also. I think I am a real adult man now, and if I don’t meet the requirements, I’m at least a quasi-man.It’s surreal to see Byron (23), my sister Brie (18) and myself (21) all crashing at my parents’ home for the Christmas break. I remember all of the childish acts we used to do when we were younger. We used to fight all the time because he’d do things like give me Advil and say it was candy, and put lotion on the Doritos he gave me. I tried to fight him and he knocked two of my teeth out. Now that I look back and it seems like he was trying to kill me. Thank God for change.

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