Caped Crusader

The 20s are all about accepting who you are. Everyone looks up to someone else. We all have at least one person that we admire for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it's their accomplishments or how they make you feel. Something about them just inspires you to keep striving on. They are what you aspire to be. They give you hope, courage, and empowerment. Look up in the sky; it's a bird; it's a plane; no it's the caped crusader.
 
Knowing who I look up to has always been easy for me to know. I cannot even begin to articulate the kind of people my parents are. What they have done for me cannot be described properly in words. It is beyond the plane of this Earthly existence and transcends all religiosity/spirituality. They have sacrificed so much to get me to where I am and for all their selfless work I am grateful. It is not just me though how they go about their lives daily is casually moving mountains. They save people left and right. They change lives, give hope, and share love. They are everyday superheroes, mundane humanitarians, and regular philanthropists. There are willing and continue to give themselves, their time, energy, and money on those that come across them. To know them is to be blessed immensely and to be changed for the better forever. They treat everyone as they do their children. The only thing they reserve for the five of us is their lives and if need be they would gladly lay them down for us as well. I solemnly swear that there are no people who have ever existed in this world with such compassionate hearts. They are the embodiment of all that is best in the world. If you ever have the opportunity to meet them, me (and my all siblings) begin to make sense as to how extraordinary our actuality is. It is because of them. They are my caped crusaders.
 
As of late I have finally come to accept other people's perception of me. While it may not be how I see myself, that is a reserved, understated, pensive, and thoughtful introvert, it has very real implications for them. I am still flabbergasted that people, and way more than I could have ever imagined have to see me a role model, mentor, or father-ish figure. Perpetual mess, all over the place, overworked and underslept me as someone people admire? What kind of farce is this? The year has gone on and more people have identified me as someone they want to be like. It's flattering to say the least but also it's terrifying. I have just come to take it all on as part of who I am much less process the serious impact of what that means. Part of me does not want to ever mess up or to let those who have put me on this pedestal to down, and another part knows that's not realistic. What I can rationalize is that I'm just a person. I'm not a superhero. I don't wear tights. I'm not a vigilante. I'm just being me, and that's all that is asked of me. I'm not meant to be perfect, for myself, or for other people. What people must see in me is exactly who I am. I will make mistakes and will always do so, but what I do with them, how I take responsibility, and what I take from them. Keeping that all in mind and just going about my average life will keep me grounded, down to Earth, and humble no matter who wants to blow me up. No caped crusaders here.

What I have taken from being called dad, mentor, big brother, superhero etc. is that these relationships have immense meaning to me. Too many times have people told me that they wish they could repay me but they have no need to, their friendship, affection towards me, and care is more than enough. Maybe they imagine me to not get anything from our connection but a hero is no one without the people they protect, serve, and save. They have no purpose without those that are vulnerable. I am renewed, strengthened, and ignited with passion because of all the people that I am linked to. They are part of what drives me and to them I owe more than a few words. Thank you for believing in me, and for letting me be part of your lives. You are more powerful than you can ever realize but what it takes to access it is for others to believe in you. I do. I always will. Know that to someone else you mean  the same and take on this role. You are a caped crusader in your own right.
 
If I tell you I have fully embraced fatherhood it would be a understatement. It's now that I get called as the eldest member of my fraternity (along with my constant admonishments) and by the legion of underclass students that I have been able to know, that I have received a glimpse of what it must be like for my parents. I constantly worry about all of them. It's all guys and when I'm not handling my own life endeavors I'm checking in on them or contemplating what I could do better for them. It's actually kind of ridiculous. They have hands down made this year one of my absolute favorites and it's because of them that I've made it through. Whenever I've wanted to give up, couldn't do anymore, or felt less than super, they have been the ones to cheer me on, brighten my day, and propel me forward. I sincerely love these guys from all parts of campus so much. I get choked up thinking about how much they have come to mean to me. They are the spinach to my Popeye, the mutant gene to my X-Men, and the yellow sun to my Superman. Thank you for letting me be a caped crusader.

There so many big moments that I've had with them but the most impactful have been the small ones. It's the little smiles they send my way, he behind the back hugs, or the rant text messages of appreciation. It's how they walk into my apartment and no longer ask for things, the leaning on me, and the random goofy-faced snapchats. I hope in the future that my kids emulate them - I'm sure they will be in my life for its entirety (groomsmen and godfathers galore). Here I'll highlight some of my favorite moments from the past couple of weeks. As a kid at heart I still appreciate getting piggyback rides (because I'm really 12 not 21) and my buddy Stephen gives the best ones, antagonistic snapchats from Kyle always give me a laugh, full body hugs from Willy give me life, shady quips from David never cease to have me chastising but I've grown to enjoy the challenges, big goofy smiles from Aaron fill me with unbridled joy, witty swashbuckling banter with Cam keeps me on my game, and little heart to hearts with Dakota remind me to keep it small. So many awesome people to know like Elliot's relentless sarcastic humor (get the guy a TV show), Brad's sincere compassion, and the hilarious antics of Max, Henry, and so many others. It's been an adventure and one I would gladly give up just to forever haven them all in my life. You all with a legit league of others are my caped crusaders.

My blog post question for the day is ... who's your favorite superhero and why? I really like Green Arrow (humor and billionaire swag), but the humility of Captain America to me is so compelling. I also resonate with Superman's alienness.

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