A Reminder To Myself To Be Kind

They say never meet your heroes. In some cases, you may never even get the chance to meet them. You find out some news regardless. Then something in you breaks. It’s like when a glass jar, a nice one, gets a crack in the middle. You can’t stop looking at it in horror.

Then something strange happens. You may find that you have become someone’s hero. That can be very flattering. It can also backfire when you realize that yes, you are not a perfect person. That means you are bound to disappoint someone. They will see that you are not a hero cast in stone.

One creator is my age, younger by a matter of months. We took similar paths in college, only I went to my siblings’ alma matter and he went to art school. While I was working at grad school and editing novellas, he was publishing comics that were an instant hit with the masses. Finding this out made me jealous and questioning what I was doing with my life. Regrets hit, and some resentment.

Then this past week, some friends told me some harsh truths about this person. They may have broken up a happy relationship, something that I have never done. And to add insult to injury, they put this dynamic in one of their creations, at least according to the people that I know who have seen the media in question. (I’m a recluse and it takes a lot for me to go out on dates and give people a chance romantically.)

I felt disappointment. And a bit of relief. This person was not tackling life or true love well. They had created something great and found success, but I didn’t have to compare myself to them.

WorldCon was the first time someone came up to ask for an autograph. It was nice, and scary. People may actually look up to me.

I am not a perfect person. Far from it. Most days, I wake up with my hair standing on one end and I hate folding laundry or making my bed. When I’m angry, I scowl and make sarcastic remarks. I also think that it’s a crime to put pineapples on pizza and don’t know what people are thinking that such a digestive fruit would go with cheese.

But there is one thing I will try to do: be kinder every day. Not because someone might be looking up to me, because I want to be proud of the person I am now, and have fewer regrets.