Wow. He just looks so young and almost shy here. I mean, he is young. He’s younger than me, although only by a few years. He’s the same age as my little brother, but it’s so easy to forget that he’s basically still a kid, because he has so much dignity and maturity and just this air of graciousness about him all the time. I look up to him so much and I tend to put him on a pedestal, see him only through these rose-colored lenses of adoration and hero-worship until he doesn’t seem quite real, he’s someone beautiful and very far away that helps me escape when my own life is too difficult, with his flawless voice and his lovable character.
And then every once in awhile, that little bit of vulnerability shows through and I remember “holy shit, he looks like he’s magic but he’s really just a kid, he’s still that kid from that awful little town that didn’t appreciate him, and he’s moved so far beyond that but he wasn’t just born into adoration and recognition, he’s had to deal with crap and prejudice and loneliness and cruelty, he’s had to work to get to this, and now he works so hard and carries so much, and tries to be such a positive force…and he makes it all look effortless even though you know, it’s probably not.” Then he’s not just this beautiful image that makes me smile, he’s this incredible person that started out in a place not so dissimilar from my own little hometown, doing the same things to escape and dreaming the same dreams…and he’s achieved them. He keeps achieving them, and that gives me hope that I can achieve mine, too…and then I want to kick myself for ever letting myself forget that part of the story for even a moment, because it’s part of what makes him so inspiring.
It’s times like this I remember why he’s my hero.