Chasing Elmo

I guess it’s about time for me to post a new blog. It’s about 11:30 PM where I am, and I should be asleep, but I’ve had a few to drink, it’s been a crazy day, and I just feel like blogging.

I have emulated someone else in one way or another for the majority of my life. It sounds odd. It makes it seem like I’ve basically just been a copy cat. Each of these people, however, have helped me find out who I truly am in one way or another.

The first person that I really tried to emulate was a boy named Garrick Jones. Garrick was the cool kid in grade school that everybody wanted to be like. The only thing I really had in common with Garrick was that we both played basketball. Realistically, he was much better at it than I was. I had a good height advantage, and I was pretty accurate with my shooting, but I didn’t really have the speed that Garrick did. His movement was much more fluid than mine was.

Well one day I had Garrick over to hang out. I’m not really sure why he actually came over. Maybe his parents made him. We ended up playing basketball. It was fun until my over competitive nature kicked in. There was one time where I jumped to grab the ball and caught it out of bounds. There was no real out of bounds since it was just in the driveway of my house, but realistically it would have been out of bounds. I don’t know what my little mind was thinking, but I instantly ran inside and started crying, because, well…I was a little kid. That was probably the first instance of me realizing the kind of person I was going to end up being.

Then I met Elmo. No, not the red furry Elmo. Elmo was, and still is probably the coolest person I’ve ever met. He went by the name Elmo Ranelli. The last name is real, but the first name obviously isn’t. There’s a story of why he goes by Elmo, but it really isn’t all that entertaining.

I was a very awkward person in high school. Elmo was one of the different, but cool kids at the high school I went to (are we noticing a trend?) A lot of people thought that I was trying to copy Elmo. I can’t entirely argue against that.

I made an attempt, an incredibly horrible attempt, to grow my hair long like his. My hair doesn’t really grow long. It grows out. I looked like a member of the Beatles. I brought on many of the same speech mannerisms as him. I hung out in many of the same circles as him. Thinking back on it now, I don’t think I was doing that as much to copy him as I was doing it to find out who I really was.

I didn’t have much of an identity before I met Elmo, and although my identity became very similar to his, I think he helped me find parts of my identity that I didn’t know existed. He helped me realize who I truly am. A lot of that personality has stuck with me over the years, because it is me.

In college I ran into a guy we called Weed. It wasn’t because of the obvious reason. It was because of his last name. It was easier to say Weed than it was to pronounce his last name. Well, at Jacksonville State University, Weed became my new Elmo.

I won’t say that I necessarily copied Weed as much as I copied Elmo, but like Elmo he also helped me discover different parts of my personality that I didn’t know existed. Over the years I’ve discovered and developed a large part of who I am by witnessing and to some extent copying the traits of others that I relate with.

Now, my personality is pretty well set. I don’t have many Elmo’s any more, but I still find them every now and then. Right now they are Chuck Wendig and Wil Wheaton. I think it’s because I can see so much of myself in both of these two people. (Hey hey hey…you know what I meant, don’t make this creepy)

Really, I can see a lot of common shared traits between me and both of them. I wouldn’t really say that I’ve done anything to try to copy either of them. Wil is heavy into the beer scene, which is amazing, and Chuck is an incredibly talented writer. If anything, I may have copied his writing style here and there.

I guess the point of this post is that I’ve found myself chasing Elmo in one way or another my entire life. It hasn’t always been the actual Elmo, but it’s always been the same circumstance. I don’t think that’s every really going to change. I think now that I’ve realized my patterns that I can learn to approach it in a healthier fashion.

I’m no longer going to be jealous of the successes of others that I think I relate with. That’s my newest resolution, and I plan on sticking with it. I plan on realizing that not everybody wants to be my friend. Just because I think I relate with someone personality wise doesn’t mean that I will ever actually meet that person or that they will every want to meet me, and that’s perfectly fine.

The truth of the matter is that I’m probably going to spend my entire life chasing Elmo, and that’s fine with me, because that’s what helped me find out who I am today. I wouldn’t be who I am right now if it had not been for my varíous Elmo’s. So thanks to all of you, especially you…Elmo.

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