To me, writing about one’s hero(s) is a bit cheesy. But it’s today’s prompt so I’ll go for it. Whatever comes into my head.
I have found that heroes are often times disappointing.
In 8th grade I moved to a new city, a new state, a new school and a new church. I joined a youth group for the first time ever. I was such a nerd. I say that with fondness. I had red pimples, tightly permed blonde hair, braces and was uncomfortable in just about every social interaction. I blame my homeschooling background for that. ::wink wink::
My first night at this new youth group – whom I stuck with till I moved away for college – I met my first hero. Amy. She was the funniest person I had ever met in my entire life. She was weird too. I had never met anyone who didn’t shave their legs or their arm pits. But I had also never met someone who was older and cooler than me who seemed to want to hang out with me.
She helped me make friends and brought me into my first small group with other girls my age. I looked up to her and everything she did was perfection to me. She could make every situation funny and turn any song into something about Jesus. Those are two things I still carry with me today – in a good way of course.
Well, one day I found one of her text books that she had left at my house. I’m nosy so I opened it and found a note. I can’t remember what it said… although I think it said something about smoking pot.
I was devastated. Everything I thought I knew about her broke. I was mad. And hurt. And betrayed. I didn’t understand how she could make such mistakes and still be a … a… Christian?? Someone who goes to church?
What I didn’t know then, what I do know now, is that we all, EVERYONE, falls. We all have our secrets. Some we share with a select few and then some stay hidden. The pain of realizing my heroes weren’t perfection incarnate was a lesson I learned over and over and over again. Each time it hurt so much. Each time I was confused. Each time it felt like my world fell apart.
So that’s why I have a hard time talking about heroes. It’s great to have people to look up to, people who make you want to be better. But when I start calling that person a hero it feels like I’m about to set us both up for failure. That person will always make a mistake and let me down in some way.
I’m not saying I don’t look up to people anymore because I do. I totally do. But over the years I have finally started to see the balance between a hero and a human being.
That was more than 5 minutes but I really needed to finish my thoughts on this topic. If I had stopped at 5 minutes…that wouldn’t have been too great.