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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal


Lori Stroud

At one time in my life, which wasn't very long ago, I was naive. Granted, I still am now, but not in the same respect, for I learned something last night. Adults seem different to a young impressionable mind. For example, Scooby Doo and the gang in the mystery machine where real detectives to me at age six. Anyway, I came to the realization that I viewed a once influential person in my life as a superman - and he simply was not.

From my standpoint a few years back, this person was everything I hoped to be, and accomplish - a mentor, and person to which I could look to for anything. As any impressed youth, I mimicked my inspiration, and tried to follow in the large footprints left behind, trying my best to live up to expectation. Seeing this person back in my life made me overjoyed at first, memories from the past excited my already on-edge nerves, and I rushed to greet him with open arms. I wanted so dearly for him to see how far I had come since his departure. I wished him to observe me at my best and to hear his praise and kind words of congratulation. I hoped I had lived up to approval. When conversation was taking place, the words coming from that face-from-the-past seemed cold and distant. Jokes at my expense, a chuckle, an impersonal greeting, stale small talk, then a parting of eyes. Was this the one whom I swore I had missed?

After I had completed my duty of helping to retire the colors, I scanned the guests in search of my superman. He left without saying farewell. For a second time, this brought tears to my eyes and almost ruined my evening. He hadn't stayed to comment on my performance that evening, or to enjoy my company. My heart sank, and again I felt abandoned.

Just as if it had been a cleverly scheduled plot in a comic book, I caught sight of hope. Someone who hadn't been in my life since the beginning, but had made a sizable influence, out of left field. Someone who didn't have super hero qualifications, but those of a trusty sidekick. Seeing him and the presence he had on those around him was like an alarm clock for the dream I had been living. He gave me strength to blink back my tears and allow myself to accept the truth. The truth being, that things can easily seem fantastic to those who have no real basis for comparison. (i.e. considering Camden Park the best place on earth if you've never been to Disney Land)

Through my new point of view I am more cautious as to whom I admire and why, I am sure of myself when I say that. I have learned not to allow super heroes into my life, because they are not brave. With all of those super powers, they have no need for courage. Where's the courage in saving a damsel in distress when you are indestructible? I have found a real hero. One who has taught me genuine courage and commitment, and sets the example by using human strength and good will. It is painful to let go of someone... especially when you have subconsciously built them into someone whom they are not... it's like crushing your own dream, but it is for the best.

I sat and thought over this event for a good portion of my day, and I hope it makes people assess their role models. Because if you step back and take an honest look at them, at face value, you might realize that you are idolizing a super hero who can leap a building in a single bound and who is faster than a speeding bullet.

Copyright© Lori Stroud