Friday, May 26, 2006

Do superhero stories have bad endings?

The last year of my life has been challenging. To say the least.

After wading through a resultant suicidal depression over the past few months this week is pulling me down again.

Threatening my very sense of who I am.

You know in Spiderman 2 when Peter Parker begins to lose his superpowers? And he's torn because he feels the superhero powers have cost him so much, yet without Spiderman, the world is a bit worse off? To add to it, he's taking a hammering at the hands of Doc Ock and his identity has been exposed. Not only that, but the girl of his dreams is marrying someone else and his best friend hates him for not giving up Spiderman.

After he has passed out after saving their lives, one of the passengers on the train looks down at his limp frame. He remarks, "He's just a kid, no older than my son."

That's my week. Pretty much the last year. Not a hero, just a kid.

My life over the last ten years has been challenging, but I have achieved in my chosen field. I have been at the top of my game - one of the best in the world. Now I pretty much have to give up what has validated me and move onto something else. And there have been the ups and downs of my private life to add to all of that.

Peter Parker's wise Aunt May says to him, "I believe there is a hero in all of us that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble... who finally allows us to die with pride. Even though sometimes we have to be steady and give up the things we want the most... even our dreams..."

This week I had to give up a dream. Not through choice, but because I wasn't good enough. I've worked hard at making sure that doesn't happen too often any more. Because, like Peter Parker, I was an underachieving geeky kid once and then I found something in life that I was better at than almost anybody - for him, he was Spiderman, for me it was my career.

I can choose to believe that someone didn't see that spark. That maybe I just had a bad day in an interview. But I'm out of runway and I've pretty much got to do something different now.

Being a hero right now means getting through this and finding out the next big thing in my life. Being steady and giving up on a dream.


moonflake said...

a very similar thing happened to me. I spent almost my entire life wanting nothing but to be an astronomer. I know it sounds corny, but that was my dream. I went to UCT and got my bachelors, honours and masters in astrophysics, before realising in the last year of my masters that a) i wasn't really good enough at it and b) i wasn't even enjoying it anymore. So, despite having dedicated most of my life, 7 years of study, 2 years of lecturing and even one published paper to my dream, i had to give it up.

On the up side, i'm now doing a job that two years ago i didn't even know existed, and i love it. It's a better fit to who i am than my dream ever was... and i'm happier now than i've ever been. Dreams are nice, but sometimes reality turns out even better.

BUDDESS said...

My answer to your question is a definate no. You just have to find something else to be a superhero at. You did it once and that means you can do it again.

Seeing that you like sport so much, maybe you can help get the Bulls and Bokke back on top!!!!!