Monday, February 29, 2016

Supplemental Post #2 How I Broke My 8 Year Obsession with Ryan Sheckler

Confession time. My name is Greta Nell Gabriel and I used to think Ryan Sheckler and I were going to get married.  Don't worry, I've since come to my senses, but it was a long and dark road.  It all began when I saw his tattooed skater body in my "M" magazine teen rag riding home on the bus in sixth grade.  While my friends were all claiming Jonas brothers, I told them they could have the Jonas brothers as long as I got that tanned, green-eyed skater boy.  Of course when my friend responded, "Do you even know what he has tattooed on him?" and I did not know, it became my life goal to find out every single detail about him.

Cut to my sophomore year of college and seven skate competitions about 30 posters, one TV show watched 200 times over, one scrapbook of photos and clippings, and one failed attempt at learning to skateboard.  The event that brought me to the climax and conclusion of my obsession was a signing at Tilly's in Torrence.  Having waited for a few hours in line next to skater kids and teenage girls, it was my moment to shine.  I had the perfect flirty line planned out, was wearing my skater girl dress, and was prepared to bring up my academic research on The Sheckler Foundation to prove I wasn't just another crazy fan.  All my years of convincing myself that we were meant to be due to the many coincidences between us including our matching green eyes, middle names that were the same when spelled backwards (with the addition of an "a"), and the fact that his mother's name was Gretchen and mine was Greta came down to this moment.  My beating heart instantly calmed when I approached him and told him we had a lot in common.  Then when I told him I wrote a paper on the communication strategies of The Sheckler Foundation, he confirmed my thoughts and told me that I should come out and volunteer at his foundation's events! Clearly, he wanted to see me again and I knew for sure now that we were meant to be.

The next week, was drastically different. When I came home one day, my signed Ryan Sheckler poster was on the ground, face down while all my other posters were intact on the wall.  At the same moment, my friend shared an Instagram post from Ryan Sheckler of his green eyes which got my mind thinking.  Only explainable by an act of God, something inside me was telling me I needed to let go of my obsession because it was unhealthy.  As silly as it may sound, my obsession was holding me back from experiencing real love and the time I spent daydreaming and researching could have been much more productively spent.  It was time to give him up.

Growing up, I was never obsessed with the popular celebrities, but when I did become attached to someone, it took a long time to let go.  Looking back, my obsession was not healthy but it did create in me a passion for action sports that still is strong today.  I realize now that we should never let ourselves become obsessed with a person and put them on a pedestal with unrealistic expectations as was done to Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and now Justin Bieber.  Celebrities are human and it is not fair to them nor ourselves to seriously fantasize about them because it only sets us up for disappointment and is frankly a waste of precious time.

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