I need a hero....

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    May 28, 2008 6:45 AM GMT
    Ever since i was young I never truly said someone was my idol. I never respected anyone enough. I remember those essays you had to write in 5th grade about who is your idol? or who do you want to be? who do you look up to? I always put my dad but I never really looked up to him, and it is true to this day. Yes I respect him and respect his work ethic, but I never wanted to be him. There was no person I have met face to face that I felt like... wow... I want to be him.

    I have never met anyone to say wow that guy is so amazing I want to be just like him. I, to this day truly respect only a few people. I feel like I have been devoid of a mentor, a person to take me under his wing, a person who shows me how to be a man. It all stems from my dads un-involvement in my life. But I still would like to have a mentor.

    I would like to meet a gay man who would like teach me about life, who I could ask questions if I needed advice, who would take interest in me, in my life, I guess I feel like I need a father figure. I never have had one and deep down inside want someone who is just older than me and will just tell me "oh I went through that" of show me the ropes for once in my life..... is that too much of me to ask? Or am I asking the impossible..... or is this something I need to talk to a therapist about? I just want a hero I guess.. a person I aspire to be.
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    May 28, 2008 7:52 AM GMT
    Why don't you take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what do you wanna be? We are always alone figuring things out. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you're special. Maybe you should start looking for answers within you rather than waste your time waiting for that mentor that may never come.
    This may sound harsh but that's just the way it goes. If and maybe if that mentor for you comes along, that's just a bonus.
    It's your life.
    p.s.
    I just remembered what dancerjack couldn't forget. When I remarked that while I'm single and young, I'd just strive to be exactly the man who I'd want to date. You can do that do. And ask yourself from time to time if the man you're becoming is someone the childhood version of you would look up to.
    "For the most fabulous relationship you can ever have is the one you have with yourself." --Carrie Bradshaw
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    May 28, 2008 8:44 AM GMT
    I think the biggist mistakes I had made as a child and
    that we all make. Is the one that we look up to people
    "too" much. Zimzter has a good point. You should be the one to teach yourself, But there is nothing wrong with looking up to famious people and figures, as well as family and friends. But instead of Striving to BE like that person, Take aspects you like from them and add them on to your self. When you try to be like a person, You can inherite there bad traits just to add to yours.
    We cant all wait for some one to come along and teach us everything, that makes things FAR to easy.

    Hope thats help full,

    Sincearly, lenne.
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    May 28, 2008 1:15 PM GMT
    Young boys look up to their fathers and try to be like them. It isn't always a good thing.....
    I think having a mentor in your life however is very important.
    It is a shame that there aren't many in the gay world.
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    May 28, 2008 7:09 PM GMT
    Well I know the part about a father figure is just me being all emotional looking to deep and knowing that it probably wont ever happen.... But what about having someone to look up to..... I mean I would like to atleast have someone to look up to..... I dont even really have that.
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    May 28, 2008 7:18 PM GMT
    I can empathize with you, ItsMyLife, as I actively sought out mentoring for years, but never really found it. Over the years, people have taken me under wing for periods of time, but those relationships would inevitably ebb and flow.

    Also, you don't have to want to "be" someone in order to look up to him. As you say, you're looking for a mentor, father figure, role model and hero. That's a tall order, even if you're not seeking mentor perfection. You may not realize it, but you're asking a huge commitment of a mentor, cold turkey, without doing the hard work of cultivating such a relationship. Mentoring relationships are organic in nature, and they evolve over time as you apprentice with a sage or guide.

    To those who pooh-pooh ItsMyLife's desire for a mentor, suggestions like, "look in the mirror and find yourself," don't meet the inner relational need that I think ItsMyLife is seeking. I believe he is more in need of someone to "play human being" with him than to help him chart a career path. We all have empty "holes" in our hearts that can't be satisfied by "doing" stuff; only by truly "being." Following a "ten steps to success" approach to filling relational voids never works.

    Finally, I think you've lucked in to a fine family, here, that would be happy to guide and advise you, where we can. It's not the same as being there, but you are among friends, as well as "cranky old farts" (aka, yours truly) who would gladly offer you support and advice where we can.

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    May 28, 2008 7:22 PM GMT
    My father and I were not close either (too similar), and I have never had a hero in my life, but I have listened to others and tried to learn from their mistakes and successes. Mainly older gay friends.

    I have always wanted to be myself and reach my own potential not try to emulate someone else. I guess that is what helps constitute my "uniqueness" that my partner likes.

    I personally wouldn't recommend trying to find just one person. There are several people on this website that, if I were your age, I would listen to and even communicate with to "pick their brains", but probably none of them have all the answers.

    For example, I have some advice about safer sex and dealing with HIV, but I would be hopeless at providing personal experiences around circuit parties, rec. drugs or open relationships. I don't have any experience in those aspects of gay life.

    Best of luck.
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    May 28, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    Thanks for the response Rock_us and I am thankful for the offer, but internet relationships really bother me. There is sometimes when you just want human contact and online mentors can really not be the same. I mean I have a gay uncle who I email all the time, but he lives in Buffalo New York! and he can't always respond to my emails, and the online relationship wears thin very fast.. you know what I mean?
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    May 28, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    I agree with you that the internet is not the best way to feel a connection to people. Are there gay organizations (social, sports) near you? An environment that is not sexually charged in which you can become friends with someone and not have them leer at you.

    I was lucky because I roomed with a gay man for 3 1/2 years who was about 12 years older than me that I learned a lot from (he was my ex bf's ex-roommate). Sadly he died in 2006 from an aneurism. There was never a sexual thing between us, we were just good friends.
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    May 28, 2008 7:42 PM GMT
    Well there is the LA LGBT center on hollywood.... But I have never gone before... and I think I will cuz its the first time in my life I feel like i am strong enough to do so
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    May 28, 2008 7:47 PM GMT
    ItsMyLife saidThanks for the response Rock_us and I am thankful for the offer, but internet relationships really bother me. There is sometimes when you just want human contact and online mentors can really not be the same. I mean I have a gay uncle who I email all the time, but he lives in Buffalo New York! and he can't always respond to my emails, and the online relationship wears thin very fast.. you know what I mean?

    Yeah, definitely - that was the point I was trying to make about "looking in the mirror." I just think your high expectations are setting you up for disappointment. As they say, a watched pot never boils. Be open to mentoring opportunities, but don't go on an expedition.
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    May 28, 2008 7:58 PM GMT
    To me, it comes down to a few things. First, I don't want to be someone else. But there are attributes, skills, and attitudes of others that I aspire to.
    What I choose to aspire to must be high, but not so out of sight that it's unattainable.
    I'd like to compose music like Erich Korngold.
    Paint like Ralph Goings.
    Understand and apply math like James Glieck.
    Understand and apply science like (too many to name here).
    Cook like Julia Child.
    Grow orchids like Rebecca T. Northern
    Incite change like Larry Kramer.
    Write like Edmund White.
    Flip a Balisong like Jeff Imada.
    Design a chair like Charles Eames.
    Skate like Bobby Orr.
    Do a floor routine like Alexei Nemov.
    etc.

    There's no one person. There's no way to do it all, but I can strive for any of it and continue to strive to be a good person.

    Basically, as I've said before:
    I want to be the person that my dogs think I am.
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    May 28, 2008 8:38 PM GMT
    I don't have an Idol because I don't want to follow someone's foot steps. I am myself and want to do new extraordinary things.

    Do be ordinary. Be original and be yourself by dreaming everyday of new goals.
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    May 28, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    I was never someone who had a "hero" and could never answer that question when asked. That all changed recently when I started watching "Judge Judy." Her fierce commitment to sussing out the truth and having people take personal responsibility is just awesome. I don't want to "be" Judge Judy or follow her footsteps into law - but I do want to emulate both her strong moral code as well as her unflinching willingness to speak her mind (which is always a combination of keen intuition and smart logic).
  • Hagan_F

    Posts: 210

    May 28, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    I volunteer.
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    May 28, 2008 11:31 PM GMT
    I don't think that ItsMyLife wants necessarily to BE someone else. What he's looking for, I imagine, is guidance. Someone to help him with life's traps, help him realize himSELF, and give the benefit of experience to a young guy the way, oh, a father is SUPPOSED to do, but too many fathers don't.

    I left home at age 16 to escape a crappy family life, and I sympathize, because I had to make my own way entirely and I can think of all the stupid things I might have avoided if I'd just had the same thing that he is wishing for.

    I hope you find it. Online relationships are not a good substitute, but if you really have a question or need some advice AND no one in the real world can help, don't hesitate to post or email one of us.
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    May 28, 2008 11:49 PM GMT
    Yeah, when I was younger I always wanted gay role models!

    The Guys in the Other Side of Aspen just don't cut it (jk)

    There was a guy called Brian Paddick who ran for mayor of London as an openly gay candidate. He's an ex policeman who has liberal views.

    He lost... but I thought it was a big step forward to see some inspiring gay people who aren't in the arts/music.

    Oh yeah and he's quite hot too.

    http://www.queerty.com/chest-lightening-shallow-politics-20080310/
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    May 29, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    mountain said
    I think having a mentor in your life however is very important.
    It is a shame that there aren't many in the gay world.


    There arent many good mentors period. As cynical as it maybe everyone has a dark side. And Zim is correct you have to look inside and determine what you really want.

    I had no role model. I had no respect for my alcoholic abusive stepfather or my constant denial of a mother. I knew of zero gays where I lived. Yet I made solid goals of who and what I wanted to be and became determined. I became the white sheep out of a herd of black sheep. Its one of the reasons I cant accept the nature vs nurture arguments or the arguments claiming we are products of our environment. Especially kids dropping out of school, committing crimes and blaming it on living in the ghettos.

    In the end its all up to you anyway. Why be a copy of someone else when you can be exactly how you want to be. As for someone to talk to regarding life lessons yours arent unique and its just a matter of talking about it and finding out who else experienced the same problems.
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    May 29, 2008 12:20 AM GMT
    My hero is Otep Shamaya. She was abused as a child and lived a pretty terrible life. She is now the singer of a metal band and runs multiple programs to help victims of abuse as well as underpriviledged children around the world.

    The fact that she is a female, and a gay female at that, thriving in the metal scene is amazing to me. She is an amazing artist in all regards and does all she can to help others.
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    May 29, 2008 3:09 AM GMT
    SEE this is what I mean! There are so many guys in the gay community who say "Oh well I had to get over it myself... or no one helped me and I'm ok" I think that is crap. I mean I understand what you are saying when you went through it alone and some people no matter what you do you can't help them. And some things no matter what you do when your young you dont listen to that advice. But what would you think would happen if we stopped the cycle and just helped another kid who is going through a hard time? I mean that is why I am studying psychology because I dont want anyone else to go through what I went and still am going through. This whole I didn't get any help why should I help you attitude is just perpetuating the terrible cycle.

    Yes I understand that actually volunteering is very hard to do you always put it off, find a reason not to go, or are too busy. But can you imagine what would happen if you did. The only reason I feel this way is because I had a guy when I was at college for a semester take me under his wing and help me through this shit..... And he olny did it by being my friend and being someone I could talk to and ask advice. It wasn't like he was trying to raise me, or be my father, all I really want is a friend I can ask questions about life with.

    And I know, I know going out and helping someone is hard to do... Hell I mean when I see a car stuck on the side of the freeway with people looking under the hood I dont stop and ask if they need help.... do you? Does anyone? But just imagine the difference just helping one person would do... I know because my friend Brian who helped me is what made me feel this way.
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    May 29, 2008 3:13 AM GMT
    ItsMyLife said Hell I mean when I see a car stuck on the side of the freeway with people looking under the hood I dont stop and ask if they need help.... do you? Does anyone?


    Um, actually, I have done exactly that. And I don't think I'm that unusual.
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    May 29, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    ItsMyLife saidSEE this is what I mean! There are so many guys in the gay community who say "Oh well I had to get over it myself... or no one helped me and I'm ok" I think that is crap. I mean I understand what you are saying when you went through it alone and some people no matter what you do you can't help them. And some things no matter what you do when your young you dont listen to that advice. But what would you think would happen if we stopped the cycle and just helped another kid who is going through a hard time? I mean that is why I am studying psychology because I dont want anyone else to go through what I went and still am going through. This whole I didn't get any help why should I help you attitude is just perpetuating the terrible cycle.

    Yes I understand that actually volunteering is very hard to do you always put it off, find a reason not to go, or are too busy. But can you imagine what would happen if you did. The only reason I feel this way is because I had a guy when I was at college for a semester take me under his wing and help me through this shit..... And he olny did it by being my friend and being someone I could talk to and ask advice. It wasn't like he was trying to raise me, or be my father, all I really want is a friend I can ask questions about life with.

    And I know, I know going out and helping someone is hard to do... Hell I mean when I see a car stuck on the side of the freeway with people looking under the hood I dont stop and ask if they need help.... do you? Does anyone? But just imagine the difference just helping one person would do... I know because my friend Brian who helped me is what made me feel this way.

    So, where is Brian, today? Why can't (or doesn't) he help to fill the void you're experiencing?

    And what about the guys here who have chimed in with offers to befriend you? You seem to have erected an artificial wall that unilaterally dismisses online friendships as meaningless, or at best, sub-par. While I agree that having a flesh-and-bones human being around is the ideal, why aren't you embracing the many offers that fellow RJers have expressed within this thread? I get the lament, and I definitely empathize - I'm just not getting the push back. (BTW, a good mentor will throw stuff back atcha vs just placating you.)

    It all boils down to trust -- and its not just a one-way proposition. I've mentored a couple of guys who basically ignored everything I said and did as they would, anyway. Kind of de-motivating, but here I am, offering to be part of the village that raises the child (rhetorically speaking, anyway). I guess I'm saying that you might want to accept the gifts that are being offered to you. You never know -- they may be the only offers you get, or they could lead you down the path to finding that local hero you seek.
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    May 29, 2008 3:44 AM GMT
    jprichva said[quote][cite]ItsMyLife said[/cite] Hell I mean when I see a car stuck on the side of the freeway with people looking under the hood I dont stop and ask if they need help.... do you? Does anyone?


    Um, actually, I have done exactly that. And I don't think I'm that unusual.[/quote]
    Yeah, me too - quite a bit. More reticent to do so now that I live in Houston, though.
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    May 29, 2008 11:14 AM GMT
    I have mentored at least one guy on the internet who I met on AfterElton. He was willing to listen and wanted to learn. I gave him the lowdown on oral sex (not quite as safe as he thought), relationships, etc.. Not all young people are like him though. They think they know more than they actually do, then get into a heap of trouble!

    A mentoring/student relationship is useful if the mentor has the student's best interests in mind (no hidden agenda such as trying to get the guy into bed) and the student is all ears and is willing to learn.

    Good luck ItsMyLife trying to find your mentor(s). Like I said before you may find more than one gay mentor.
  • Csrobbie2000

    Posts: 359

    May 29, 2008 4:52 PM GMT
    Growing up, I idolized my dad - someone who is smart, successful, powerful, and my mom (at the time) who was just like a supporting actor who stood behind my dad helped him to accomplish everything. However, as I grew up and spent more time with my mom especially on her last few years on earth, I realized she is the real hero. That tiny woman who is so strong, patient, passionate and loving is the one who has to piece the family together through the toughest time. I still respect my dad, but I have found a greatest respect for my mom. It doesn't mean I want to be her or live a life like hers, but there are many of her wonderful personalities that I would like to be able to attain one day.