I have always had heroes.
On my way into work when I’m not listening to a podcast or one of my old Weird Al albums, I get quiet and think. About myself. Within a minute or two I start interviewing myself as if I were a guest on some important television program, answering questions about my life. I’ve written about this before, and while it seems like narcissism I actually think it’s about me getting to know myself a little better.
A standard go-to question in interviews has always been, “Who were your heroes growing up?” Since I interview myself at least 5x a week, this question gets asked of me (by me – to me).
I have music heroes, acting heroes, directing heroes, author heroes, comedy heroes, music heroes, and even one sports hero.
I know them all by name, and I basically worship at their altar. I know the bible suggests otherwise, but the bible says all sorts of weird stuff. I think if you read carefully they’re cool with stoning women. So you have to pick and choose the passages.
I believe that my obsession with having heroes stemmed from not having a ton of self-esteem growing up. I always thought I was not doing enough, not working as hard as my potential would suggest. As a result I revered people at the top of their respected fields.
Over the years (and through a lot of therapy), I no longer think of myself as a piece of crap. Well, I’m still a piece of crap, but one you would show off to your wife because it was in the shape of a unicorn and reflected light like the Hope diamond. Okay, I guess I don’t think quite that highly of myself. My shit’s just regular old shit.
As my self-worth has returned to a normal, more healthy level, my love of heroes has not changed. I still dream of meeting my heroes in real life. I know that if I met guitarist Joe Satriani I would cry uncontrollably like a preteen at a Justin Bieber backstage makeout party. He was the reason I picked up a guitar for the first time 23 years ago. Important dude in my life. Of course, I’m talking about Justin Bieber.
I am amazed at the number of times I have asked grown adults who their heroes are and they stare at me blankly. I feel like they are missing out on connecting to someone’s passion. My heroes are sources of inspiration. When I hear the near-perfection that is most Beatles songs, I want to pick up a guitar and write the next Yesterday. Of course I probably never will, but that’s not the point.
With heroes I am motivated to do something that engages my own passion. It’s not that I want to achieve greatness or get rich or be famous – I mean, I totally do, but that’s just so I can wipe my fanny with monogrammed toilet paper after I poop out unicorn diamonds. My heroes keep me going because every one of them engages their passion. That encourages me to do the same.
Oooh, what if I’m your hero? I would for sure let you take me to dinner to Friday’s where you’d only have to spend $20 and I’d get one of their awful fried appetizers and let you stare deep into my eyes while your fruity cocktail glass shook nervously as you struggled to make eye contact because you were this close to greatness. Best run-on sentence ever!