I recently had to move from one place to another (an extremely hectic affair), and in the process I tried to go through some of the boxes in my garage. I did manage to prune down a little bit of the junk, but the interesting thing I found was an old memory book my parents had bought me when I was in high school. Unfortunately, I did not at the time go through it and fill out all the questions they ask, such as "What's your favorite food, your favorite color, etc". But there were a few things I did answer, and I thought I should mention one here. One of the questions in the book was "Who do you look up to most?"
To understand the whole situation, you have to understand that in high school I was an extremely withdrawn and reserved person. My wife looks at who I am now and she has a hard time believing I was ever quiet and unassuming (she's told me plenty of times I'm slightly arrogant, loud, and an in-your-face type of person, meant in the best way of course, heh heh). Back then though, I walked through high school watching everyone else around me be so sure of themselves (an illusion, probably), and I always felt very small and insignificant. I was the perfect example of no close friends, no self confidence, and massive insecurity. As I get older, I think everyone probably has a shade of this during that period of time. But I sometimes wonder how many people experience it to the degree that I did. In fact looking back, I wonder how I didn't get so depressed as to contemplate suicide. But I can honestly say, that was never in my thoughts, despite all my own self-inflicted worries and doubts.
Anyway, to get back on course here, there was a guy I was friends with during high school that must have made a significant impact on me. I know this because in my memory book, I wrote down that he was the person I looked up to the most.
I remember vividly one time where he wanted to fight me for some reason, and I managed to keep that from happening somehow. He wasn't usually a hot-tempered guy, and we usually got along well enough, so I just chalk that particular instance up to him having a bad day.
One thing that has stuck in my mind about that day though are the things that were going on in my head. I remember being appalled at the idea of fighting this guy, primarily because I thought so highly of him. He hadn't done anything specifically (that I remember) for me that was extraordinary. He was just a really great guy. As far as I remember, he was nice, intelligent, and an incredible soccer player. We played on the same team, and I remember wishing I had half his talent on the field. He was also a really good looking guy, and of course I knew I really wasn't. So part of my admiration most likely included a bit of envy too.
I've since grown up of course and learned to leave regrets behind me, for the most part. But I'm glad at one point I took the time to at least write down a couple entries in that memory book. Even given the bad memories I have for my high school years, there are still enough points of light that make it okay. At one point he started following this blog, but I don't know if he still reads it or anything.
Joe, if you're still checking things out here, take a bow. Whether you realized it at the time or not, you were a friend of mine that I held in high esteem.