Wil Wheaton is my personal hero. And here’s why…

Whether it’s through the internet, film, or new outlets, we are constantly exposed to countless numbers of celebrities and stars. There are those famous for being great actors, fabulous singers, and some just for being rich and making sex tapes (looking at you Kim).

Being in the spotlight means that there are always those who will look up to you, or even want to emulate every little action. Parents today find much stress when their 8-year olds wish to be Miley Cyrus or Kylie Jenner. That’s not to be said with any disrespect to them either — both are adults doing their own thing. This unfortunately, is not something kids realize.

Me, I’m a 22 year old young adult, but do I have celebrities which I still follow, respect, and even look up too? I sure do. You may also be wondering who at this point (actually, I’m sure you’re not since it’s in the title). Often times when I state that I look up to Wesley Crusher, I’ll typically get the odd look or two (if not from Star Trek, you may know Wil Wheaton from the ’86 film Stand By Me as Gordie Lachance).

Today, Mr. Wheaton continues to stay in the spotlight by really just being himself. And this is why I find him so great.

I follow quite a few celebrities on Twitter, but end up unfollowing them due to the fact that all their posts seem to come out of a PR machine. Everything I know about them is probably just the surface of who they are. On the contrary, Wil Wheaton opens up to his fans by giving them daily glimpses of his life. Heck, after following him for a few years, I feel like I personally know the guy!

Truthfully, throughout my life I’ve had many identity issues. Even up until I was 20 I had no idea who I wanted to be. I really thought that I had to choose between being a typical “I’m into sports guy” or “I’m into Marvel movies and video games guy.” For me, I never found it okay to show my love for board games, anime, or collecting comic books. I was sure that girls would lose interest quickly after knowing my “secret shames.”

Enter Wil Wheaton.

Although I am a huge Star Trek fan, my first exposure of Wil came through his Geek and Sundry show, “TableTop.” In short, the show is basically Wil and friends playing a board game. I would follow the show religiously, and once pay-day came, I’d find myself heading to my local gaming store to buy the latest episode’s “star of the show.” My initial thoughts of Wil Wheaton? Total dork. And it was awesome.

His humor lined up with my friends and I, and I generally thought he was basically a “king of the geeks”, if you will. So naturally, as people of the 21st century do, I followed him on Twitter.

After following him, I learned really quickly he was not a PR machine, but rather an actual person. Not only that, but Wheaton also show’s that he isn’t a one-dimensional person. Sure he’s a geek, but he also is a HUGE (and this isn’t an understatement) LA Kings fan, a home-brewer, and even a dad. Without even knowing it, he expresses to his fans, that it’s okay to be who you are. You can in fact, be a “gaming geek” AND a “sports fanatic.” And especially not be embarrassed by it.

As it may seem lame to have gained confidence through the Twitter of another person. That’s what happened. I felt okay being able to express everything that made me, well, me. To me, I never thought a celebrity, that isn’t even aware of my existence, could have such a big impact on how I go about my life. I guess that’s the true power of fame.

So while this may have been all over the place, I will leave with saying that sometimes it’s okay to let celebrities into your life. You may just find your own personal hero in someone you’ve never met.

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