Weird Beginnings: My Childhood Role Models

This post is dedicated to the people who have helped make me the…unique…individual I am today. When humans are young, they tend to form connections with and look up to other humans known as “role models.” Sometimes I’m reminded that I myself can act as a role model and then I’m genuinely worried about how strange the next generation will be. I hope that young children look up to me and my successful counterpart, Beyonce, for inspiration, but that they get more Beyonce than Nance. The people that I admired as a child come from a wide variety of sources: television, books, athletics. With their powers combined, they have helped to create what is now known as Nance.

1. Tara Lipinski

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a full Tara Lipinski performance, but this is one of my favorites. I also just put off writing the rest of this post for a solid half hour so I could watch more videos. My apologies, loyal readers. She not only upset the notorious Michelle Kwan, but she won the gold medal at 15 years old and absolutely kicked ass. I once saw her skate with “Stars on Ice” and I’m pretty sure a part of me died because I loved her so much. As a child, I was one of the only young girls to never participate in dance class or play youth soccer. Instead, I figure skated for five years. I also did karate, but we’ll discuss that later. This may have led to me having poor coordination on surfaces that are not made of ice, but I loved every second of it. I reached a point where I had to either skate competitively or do synchronized skating and I was absolutely not about that life. You had to practice crazy early in the morning and I valued my rest far too much to sacrifice it for a sport. Sometimes I regret being a huge wimp and think about not only the Olympic medals, but good sleeping habits, I missed out on because I quit figure skating.

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder

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I read all of these books. There were roughly a million of them. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a little girl who had a dad with facial hair and her best friend was a doll, so I felt a pretty close connection. The most important thing I learned from reading this series is that I have no true concept of boredom. I literally cannot think of anything more boring than living in the middle of the woods and sharing a bed with my two siblings. Then, when you’re sick of the woods, you travel in a covered wagon across hundreds of miles of absolutely nothing to a space where nothing else has been built yet, and then build your own house. There’s no wifi, that’s for sure. It’s not only boring, but it’s also a dangerous life to lead. As an experienced Oregon Trail player, it’s safe to say that you will definitely die first of cholera, then dysentery, then half of your buffalo meat will go bad because all you want to do is hunt, and then while fording a river your wagon will tip over and your macbook will be ruined by water damage. Thus, I was impressed by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ability to entertain herself and survive against all odds. I haven’t been bored for a single minute since I first read Little House In The Big Woods. Finally, I think I kind of liked the fact that she once lived in a house in the side of a hill because it’s like Hobbits and I’m a big fan of those furry-footed comrades.

3. The Pink Power Ranger

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I wish I could take credit for this collage. Kimberly was the bomb.com and inspired me to not only start doing karate, but also to recognize when my karate career was over and move on to other jobs, unlike the Blue Power Ranger named Billy who was in roughly six or seven seasons of this show. This one time my older brother did a karate class that was taught by Tommy the White Ranger and I was so jealous that I eventually also signed up. Unfortunately, Tommy never came back to teach me karate and I blame him entirely for my lack of mastery of the art of kara-te. Kimberly was awesome because not only did she have a pretty color, but she was the Pterodactyl and could fly and also be fierce at the same time. My family also lacked cable for the entirety of my childhood, so this was all I could get. Pink Power Ranger, thank you for showing me I could kick ass (literally lol) while staying totally fem.

4. Taylor Hanson

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It’s much more difficult than one would think to find a solo picture of young Taylor Hanson. Not only did Taylor inspire my hair style for at least 6 years of my life, but he also inspired my first obsession. Hanson was and still is one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them twice, and I’ve gone alone both times because none of my friends are willing to spend money on that. He motivated me to put some effort into learning how to play the piano until I realized that I hate practicing and quit. Taylor has a way with words that can lead anyone to dream big with the simple word “Mmmbop.” If that counts as a word.

These four people, along with other real people like my family and friends and teachers and imaginary friends, combined their powers and formed the strange person I am today. Maybe one of them will read my blog and write me a letter saying I’ve influenced them as well. Maybe it was I who actually inspired Taylor Hanson’s hair style. You never know!

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