A few days ago, I shared a blog entry describing my role models from the period of time in which I was a teenager to a young adult. Now as I find myself at a point in my life where the future is a blank page before me waiting to be written I look to new personalities and characters after which to model myself.
It is my goal that as I forge ahead to learn from my own history and avoid the mistakes of the past (mine and others) while seeking to re-discover myself and my place in the world. I have taken the advice of a friend and rather than choose one person to emulate, I have decided to seek out traits that I admire from several different people and characters. They are:
- Kathy Griffin- Though most people know Kathy Griffin as a controversial comedienne, I feel that there is much more to her than what we see on the surface. In her book, Official Book Club Selection, Kathy describes a childhood in which she grew up feeling different from those around her. She had issues with her self-image, feeling that she was "fat" and often used sex as a coping mechanism to find love and acceptance from the men in her life. These are issues with which I can definitely identify. She openly admits that she has been fired from several jobs in the past, and has gone through a very public divorce after discovering that her husband had stolen several thousand dollars from her. Despite this Kathy has gone on to become a very successful comedienne, actor, and LGBT rights advocate. I admire the fact that she acknowledges her failures but refuses to allow them to hold her back from being a success.
- Ricky Martin- I actually know very little about Ricky, other than he is a solo-singer who was once a member of the 80's boy-band Menudo. I first became aware of him when his song Living La Vida Loca became a hit in 1999 after which the rumors of his homosexuality began. It wasn't until 2010 that Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality. I like the fact that Ricky refused to allow himself to come out before he was ready and did so on his own terms. To the best of my knowledge he has not been a part of any scandal and seems to be a loving father. Ellen Degeneres and Neil Patrick Harris fall into the category as well.
- Supergirl- In this instance I am referring to Supergirl as portrayed by Helen Slater in the 1984 film of the same name. What I really like about Slater's portrayal in this film was her delicate balance between being an innocent, naive girl and a confident, and powerful young-woman. There were several instances in the film in which Supergirl could have held back and not taken an active role in what was happening around her. I admire the fact that she took responsibility for her mistakes, sought to correct them, and always maintained a positive attitude. Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman is another good example of the strong heroine with a positive attitude.
- Buffy and Willow- Portrayed by Sarah Michelle Geller and Allyson Hannigan respectively, these were two powerful women who showed incredible strength as they faced challenging issues such as betrayal, addiction, loss, death, personal-accountability, and destiny. These characters taught us that our heroes aren't perfect. They have their own vulnerabilities and weaknesses but they can still make difficult choices and do the right thing.
- Sonny- Potrayed by Robert Duvall in the 1997 motion picture The Apostle. Sonny is a complicated character, on one hand he is a passionate, charismatic evangelist while on the other that passion turns to lustfulness, womanizing, and eventually murder. Though Sonny initially runs from the consequences of his crime he is eventually forced to take responsibility for what he has done. Throughout the film, however, it is clear that this man has an undeniable relationship with God from which he gains incredible strength of character and is able to accomplish many good things.
- Aang- A young boy with the power to manipulate the four elements chosen by destiny to bring peace to the world. Aang is known as The Avatar in the series of the same name. Aang is the reluctant hero who can be sensitive and physically dynamic. As the Avatar, Aang would rather solve problems with words or by outsmarting his enemies rather than by physical-force. He loves nature and animals and has a free spirit. Though he initially rejects his destiny, he ultimately embraces his spiritual mission and does it in a conscientious manner.
These are just a few of the people and characters who possess traits that I admire and would like to incorporate into my own personality. As you can see there are a few traits which these individuals have in common including 1) A positive attitude 2) the will to succeed despite setbacks/obstacles 3) and a strong desire to make a difference in the world for the better.