I’m not the kind of person who has heroes. There are very few people that I look up to. that I don’t know, because I like to know people. When I realize that it’s not actually possible to become friends with some popular figure, I pretty much just move on.
But I did develop a hero once. An author that I really liked, and in some ways aspired to be like, was speaking at an event that I had to be at. This event was small enough that I would get to meet and talk to this author.
Night one, before the event even started, I sat down behind him and built up enough courage to say hello. I thought that he could change my life. I thought we would talk and he would give me advice, or set me up with connections, or at least want to have a conversation and hear my story. After all, I already knew so many of his.
But instead, he wasn’t interested. He said hello, he was cordial, and then he was done. I was just another fan.
And I know, as an introvert, talking to new people is hard. He’s an introvert as well. I think most writers probably are. And he probably meets aspiring writers all the time. And in actuality, he is better than me, so acting out this truth is only natural. But it wasn’t expected.
Since then, I haven’t been able to be fully on board with anything he has done. I haven’t read anymore of his books, almost as if I have lost interest. I haven’t paid attention to where he has moved, to any outrageous things he has said, or to any organization he has started.
And all of this is okay. I’m only one person. I probably shouldn’t be so bitter, because I fully understand his side, and I’m fully aware that he mostly likely does not remember meeting me. But I wonder, what if it was me?
What if, somewhere down the road, I become successful in my writing? What if I travel, or get asked to speak? What if there are people who want to meet me? And what if I hardly give them the time of day? Because that sounds like something I would do, unintentionally. I get a little weirded out when new people want to talk to me anyway. I’m not great at holding a conversation, although I have gotten much better.
I want to be better. I don’t want to be a let down. I don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams, especially as I’m living my own.
What if you were someone’s hero?