To make a long story short, a little over two years ago I read Ayn Rand's Anthem in Elventh Grade English. This was my first introduction into any "real" philosophy and the extreme individualist ideas portrayed in the book fit well with all my afore made conclusions--in which, I think it is appropriate to mention, my conservative background played no small part. Needless to say, I quickly latched on to Objectivism (the philosophy founded and taught by Ayn Rand)--and being, at the time, an even more avid reader than I am now (if it is possible)--I rapidly devoured all of Ayn Rand's fiction in no time, washing them down with many an objectivist essay.
As I'm sure any one of my friends will tell you, at this time I was an insufferable zealot who tried, at every opportunity, to shove in some sermon on "rationality" or "the importance of selfishness" into the casual conversation or heated forum debate. However, after a matter of months my zeal subsided and I stopped searching out youtube philosophy wars and objectivist celebrities. Since this time I have researched and have become acquainted with many philosophies and my readings have strayed far and wide from the straight and narrow that John Galt would like to have seen me walk, however, like the old, faded and long outgrown aquabats tee shirt hanging in my closet, I cannot bring my self to simply discard it and walk away.
Maybe it's fond sentimentality towards my first philosophic harbor, maybe it's the time and energy that was invested in it that makes it hard for me to drop it for good, or maybe I think that it's still good for something: that there's still some life left in it. I think that I had a thought just now that sums it up perfectly, this connection that I still feel with my objectivist roots comes from the fact that I don't really want to lead a John Galt or Howard Roark life, but I would like to live in a world where someone could, if they liked.
I think it is also worth mentioning here that I saw the afore mentioned tee shirt being worn by my little brother this morning, maybe someday he'll pick up The Fountainhead too.