The other day I stood in line at the bank, as another customer was chatting up the security guard, about a pro athlete the guard is apparently friends with. The two of them went on and on like little school girls, idolizing this athlete friend of the guard’s — as if he’s anything other than just another human being. And I say that, as a sports fan. But also as just another person first.
In all honesty, it started getting uncomfortable after a few minutes. At one point I heard the man ask the guard “What’s he like?”. Well, I’ve never met him and don’t even know who it is they were referring to but I’ll tell you what he’s like. He’s just like you and I, except he plays sports professionally and therefore probably has more money than we do. Beyond that, not much different. I’ll bet he has worries, fears and doubts just like the rest of us.
The quickest way to be let down by someone, is to build them up in your head as someone or something they simply are not. This applies to athletes, musicians, authors, your favorite celebrity or just everyday people. To view anyone other than just another person who’s trying to figure this whole life thing out, is a mistake. It’s a disservice to both you and them. It’s viewing them as better than you are, which simply isn’t true. They’re probably better at whatever it is they do professionally — just like you’re most likely better than them at whatever it is you do for a living. But being better at what you do for a living, doesn’t make you a better person. Neither does having more money. And to make anyone feel like they have to live up to some standard or image you created for them is just silly. It always ends in disappointment.
I know because I’ve lived through it. From both ends, essentially. Put plainly, an ex girlfriend of mine, built me up in her head as someone I’m not. While I don’t want to say she idolized or worshiped me, sometimes it felt that way. Had I not been so young and dumb I would’ve looked her straight in the face from the beginning and informed her, I was not her Guru. But when you’re 20 years old and a beautiful woman tells you, you’re the most amazing man she’s ever met, you don’t argue. Instead, you foolishly try to live up to it. Until one day, the facade falls at your waist side and you reveal yourself to be the fucked up human being you are. Destroying her and all you were simultaneously.
Then, there’s the other side. The people I grew up idolizing. The large majority who’re either dead or in prison as I write this. People who were never meant to be idolized and that I should also point out, never asked to be. It was my mistake, not theirs. I grew up wanting to be like so many of them, until I actually kind of did and saw how miserable it made me and how wrong I was.
It’s apart of being young. Growing up, we all wanted to like the tough kid with the cool car or the prom queen with the perfect body down the street. As adults though, we should really know better. For if we don’t, it’s a lesson we all learn the hard way, at some point or another. Nobody has it all figured out, especially the people who pretend they do. We’re all full of flaws and imperfections. Nobody’s worth idolizing. Just try to be your best version of yourself instead.