So I've compiled a small list of people that I have a crush on. (in no particular order)
1. Yen-J: Ask to me pick a favorite song of his. I can't - it's not that I like them all or that I like them the same way - His music is all very different and it expresses a variety of emotions and experiences. However, all if it somehow always connect with me. Not only that but the way he talks about his music and the way he talks about his life, I feel like we must be looking through a similar lens.
2. Makoto Hasebe: This crush is no secret. I've liked him now for over a year and I talk about him as if he were my best friend. But truly, the more I know about this kid, the more I think, "We should be friends!" I first noticed it when I saw him in the World Cup. The feeling deepened when I started reading his blog and noted that he liked to talk about interesting and curious things around his house and on trips he took. But the kicker was when I saw a video of his house and realized that he owned floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books! While Google translating his blog and his book, I've been amazed at the insights he has and the way he manages his life. I admire him and worry about him and even laugh at him (with him) on occasion. It's not about the soccer. It really isn't. In fact, I don't even know if he ranks as a good soccer player. It's about the person. And I like that person a lot.
Source: Getty Images
3. Jeffrey R. Holland: I know we aren't supposed to really have favorites when it comes to General Authorities because the messages they give are all important. However, over and over, when life gets hard I find myself turning back to messages he has given. "The Other Prodigal" "Some Things We Have Learned Together" "However Long and Hard the Road" I have read or listened to each of these talks at least a dozen times.
4. Neal A. Maxwell: On that same note, I have a huge crush on this man. Our circles actually did cross once. He came to the MTC while I was there and spoke on Hope (one of my favorite topics). I lived half in fear and half hope that he would come over to ask questions of me and my companion. The responses he gave to nervous missionary responses were warm and kind and uplifting. I also think he is very attractive. My roommates laugh at me about this. It turns out they never think of General Authorities as attractive or not. But seriously, seeing his face just makes me feel happier.
4. John Steinbeck: During my junior year of college, I read a Steinbeck book a week. In that manner, I've almost read everything this man has written. He pushes a lot of boundaries in his writing. He creates truly fantastically evil characters as well as amazingly flawed heroes that have me squirming the entire book until the end when it all comes to an end and I find myself crying at the beauty of the message. When I read his Travels with Charley, I got to read his own personal voice. I loved it. I felt like I was on a road trip with my best friend. I felt bad that we left his wife at home. But it was an amazing journey anyway.
5. Moroni: I first discovered Moroni and I were kindred spirits when I was on my mission. More and more, when life gets tough, I go back to him and his writings. For a man who preached the gospel to people who would only end up getting in a war that wiped out their entire nation, I have always been impressed by his faith and his confidence in the Lord. But I also love that he lets us see his weaknesses and his sorrows. Once his people were gone, I feel like the people in our times became his friends. He said he saw our times. He started writing (and living) for us. And I love that.
6. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Psalm of Life. Enough said. Every week, when I contemplate that weekly postcard to Makoto, I always keep turning back to this poem. And have to stop myself because I already sent him the entire poem. But not just that poem, Longfellow's views of nature are magnificent. And does anyone else think it entirely romantic that years and years after his wife died, he wrote a poem about how he still missed her? He was such a good gentle family man. I would liked to have known him.
7. Allen Say: I first discovered him in the children's book Grandfather's Journey. Since then I've read an autobiographical novel as well as a few other children's books. His artwork is beautiful and inspiring but his story and the way he tells a story... I feel like I'm sitting at his feet and just taking it all in and seeing the world through his eyes. It also helps that for a girl who feels torn between two cultures, he feels the same way.
Source: Houghton Mifflin Publisher's Website
8. Xinran: She wrote a book called China Witness but she allowed the voices of the people she interviewed shine through. She did the same with Good Women of China so that I finished each book not only feeling like I had gone on a journey with her but that I had also made a lot of new friends in the process. I am amazed by the perspective and attitudes she has taken from being a reporter in China during a difficult period for the media.
Source: Random House Publisher's Website
9. Hayao Miyazaki: My roommate in college first introduced me to him. We sat and watched Howl's Moving Castle and stayed up until 2 am to finish it. Then we got up the next day and watched it at least 1 or 2 more times. I couldn't get enough of it. Each time I was learning something new about the story and myself. Miyazaki manages to capture the essence of childhood and he manages also the capture a beauty in his films that is a fascinating mixture of East, West and imagination.
10. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: In her books, I find the voice of a good friend who is sitting down with me during hard and better moments and discussing our lives and sharing our thoughts and opinions. We laugh and cry together. And we keep going.
All images from Wikipedia unless specified.