So, there's this guy at work whom I have a crush on. I want to say "crush" is the wrong word, but it's sufficiently light-hearted enough that it works perfectly to describe my emotions towards him. Which is to say, I simultaneously want to meet this person and don't ever want to meet this person.
Oh, didn't mention that part?
Yeah, I haven't met him, haven't said hello to him, haven't sent an email to him, haven't been in a meeting with him, haven't had any interaction but a small smile today. I am fairly certain he has no idea who I am, and I am not only okay with that, I also have every intention of keeping it that way.
See, this crush scares me. It scares me because this guy's personal representative is, as near as I can tell, pretty much everything I wanted to be, a physical manifestation of my idealized self.
In reading about his adventures, in seeing his works, in watching his talks, in noticing him interacting with his coworkers, you can see what drives him, what inspires him. You can see he works to make the world a better place with an idealized definition of "better" that nearly hurts in both its purity and its impossibility.
And my curiosity of him has caused me to reflect more and more about myself. To finally begin questioning what drives me, what inspires me, what motivates me. I've started looking at my goals, my choices, my decisions. I dug up and dusted off the buried rationalizations I've made for the things I've done, brought them out to the light of day and actually looked at them.
Looked at them and come to the conclusion that, against the measuring stick of my idealized self, I pretty much suck.
And this is why the crush scares me: because it is so much easier to be lost in the deep black hole of depression than it is to reflect honestly on your life and realize that the person you disappointed the most is yourself. That the years of self-hatred weren't because you were actually incapable of being a better person, but because you never moved beyond being that small frail child who craved love and acceptance. That it's okay to work towards an idealized version of the world: even if it is unachievable, even if you fail, the effort moves the world just a smidge that much closer to it, and that smidge can still be worth it.
Without having met him, without having said a single word to this person, he has inspired me to be a better person.
Problem is, I can't tell if my desire not to meet him is a fear of losing my idealized version of him (because let's face it, reality is dirty, and no one is perfect), or the fear of looking deeper and, instead of finding the strength to become a better person, giving up on myself.
Because, well, I really want to meet him and ask him a billion questions.