I remember the first fifteen minutes of my first day of preschool fairly well. I walked into the room at Warrensburg’s First United Methodist Church, Mom dropped me off, and I navigated towards the back left corner of the room. Back there five other boys were running around the wooden block station, and five-year-old me asked what they were playing. That was the moment that James Burgdoerfer introduced me to The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. I had no clue what a Power Ranger was, but I wanted in. They already had a White Ranger, a Black Ranger, a Green Ranger, and two Red Rangers, so I became Billy, the Blue Ranger.
Quick background for those of you that weren’t blessed by one of history’s greatest merchandising schemes: Billy is the nerdy guy, he’s the smart kid that wore glasses and constantly gave the exponentially cooler Rangers the bits of information and support they needed to finally beat which ever villain they happened to be facing that week.
We weren’t always Power Rangers. We were Ninja Turtles and superheroes, video game characters and athletes, and I was Donatello, Robin, Tails, and John Stockton. I wasn’t forced into those roles; I wanted to be these guys. I wanted to help Batman take down the Joker; I wanted to pass the ball to Karl Malone. I loved playing the sidekick because I loved helping other people be better.
I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a passionate individual. I like baseball and professional wrestling, but I won’t be at Kaufman Stadium on opening day and I’m not about to drop $200 on tickets to Wrestlemania. I like stuff, but I rarely love anything. That was really hard for me to process. Picking a major sucked, and for a long time I felt really broken because I’d see the spark in people’s eyes when they talked about the things they loved and wonder what that sort of passion felt like and why I didn’t have it. Then after a while I decided if I wasn’t gonna get fired up about anything, then at least I could support the people around me in what lit a fire under their ass. I’ve volunteered for a lot of causes I couldn’t care less about because someone close to me needed another pair of hands and I was available, and after a while I remembered what I realized as a kid: I love showing up for people.
Today, I’m the assistant manager at a bbq joint/whiskey bar/blues venue, a graduate student, a freelance writer, and a fiancé (I’m a busy dude). Whether it’s covering a shift so my boss can eat dinner with his daughter, editing a classmate’s poem, writing marketing copy for a company, or helping my future wife decide which shade of red would best highlight our wedding’s color palette, everyday I get to help someone take one more step towards their goal. Everyday I’m supporting someone that’s chasing their passion. Everyday I get to help someone be better.
It is hard to write about Nate because that triggers tears and typing and crying is not easy. I just love him so freaking much, I get emotional thinking about it.
ANYWAYS, back to the normal.
Nathan is a masters student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis studying poetry. He’s also my older bro. Even more exciting… last weekend HE PUT A RING ON IT. Oh ya, he is finally engaged to Lindsey Harms. I love her. I love them. I could really write a whole blog about why I love Nate. So I’ll try not to get overwhelmed. He is what I’d call the perfect older brother. Not only did he test our parents first so that I wouldn’t have to (thank you), but he also cares and loves me (even when I am annoying), and will do anything for me (like write for my blog.) He is so right, if Nate knows he can help you some way, he will do his best for you. Like when I first went to college, he guided me through all my questions and worries. He showed up right away after telling him my dog, Zach, had died. He included Austin and I with his cool friends, even when we were still annoying. (His friends also love him, because he is the perfect friend.) Nate is also really great at loving anyone. He has the most random assortment of friends. Everyone from the boy who can’t come over because he is on house arrest to the smartest kid in school. Nate makes anyone feel like they belong.
Okay. I’m going to stop. I could go on. Nate is the best, and I don’t just say that because he is my brother. You should meet him.