Updated: Nov 22, 2020
It’s the anger that comes first; it’s the hurt and disbelief that makes you feel so terrible that you start to feel sad. Sometimes, this person has been placed on such a pedestal for so long that it makes it hard to envision them as anything but inspiring. Once the rose-colored glasses come off, your perception changes. You realize that the person you once called a hero is a villain in someone else’s eyes. How is that possible? Why is that possible? There is truly no emotion that can describe what it feels like when the person who inspired you turns out to be pathetic.
My first thought when the news about my hero broke was, “How could they give a gift to me, but take everything from others?” How could they inspire me to love something with my whole being, but take the light out of someone else? I am the person I am today because of the confidence they instilled in me. They were one of the first people who made me realize that I had a talent and that it was something I should be proud of. It is something I am still proud of today; it is the part of me that I love the most. Yet, in reality, they were selfish. They took that pride from people who I am sure are talented and magnificent. What happened to them? What happened to their light and their love? Part of me is angry that I was lucky enough to have that drive of confidence from them. I’m angry that they are one of the reasons I love my talent and my passion so fiercely. I am sad that the people that were hurt didn’t get that. There shouldn’t even be a chance for us to be lucky or unlucky because of one person. That person doesn’t deserve that power over us. They shouldn’t have that power over us.
Losing a “hero” sometimes seems like you’ve lost a part of yourself, but you can’t lose who you really are. Your hero didn’t make you who you are. You were already talented and strong before them and you will be that way after them — they only showed you what you already possessed. Their bad choices can’t dictate who you are because you didn’t choose for them to make those choices. Yes, you should feel empathy for the ones they have hurt — that’s a given. However, you cannot be angry at yourself for what they did. It’s hard to see it happen and it’s hard to know that you had a tie to this person who hurt others. Yet, there’s a learning lesson from the tragedy.
You can flip the script. You know what it takes to inspire others and you can do it positively. You know that whatever you do best can make a difference for the better. You can let others know that they are the hero in their own story. Our heroes are only our heroes because we think they saved us; we think that they did this grand act of saving us from the fear of not knowing who we are. They really didn’t, though: they only supported us. You are the only person who can decide who you are. You are the one who decides what makes you whole. Other people can help you, they can support you and help navigate, but they cannot guide you. You know your heart and your talents. In whatever medium you choose to show who you are, you can show others that they create their meaning, too.
Losing a supporter is something I would never wish upon anyone. But for those reading who have or maybe will, you will learn so much about yourself. I just hope you know that you are magnificent because of who you are. They supported you, but you decide your heart. They do not have that much power over you. They only opened the door. You stop the villain story. It may be hard but you — the real hero — eventually wins in the end.
By Kaylee Haas, Staff Writer