When I was six I believed that my Mom was a Superhero.
She was my first Superhero. She would make everything better. She picked me up when I cried, she held my hand when I got scared of being alone, and she fought a villain day in and day out that tied to keep us trapped. My mom was a Superhero because she didn’t let the world get to her. She was always the force that told me “Heroes Will Conquer.” She was I hoped to be when I grown up.
But then I grew up. I listened to the world’s definition of a Superhero rather than my own. “A benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers.” Superheroes were just daydreams that helped us forget our own flaws. I didn’t believe in a world of Superheroes anymore, but a world of humans fighting other humans.
Now I realize I was wrong.
I met a Superhero last week.
She was washing dishes in a dark kitchen at two in the morning, trying her damnedest not to cry. I made her stop and hug me where we both started to cry in a house that didn’t belong to either of us. She’s a Superhero. She likes to cook, it’s not a secret passion of hers or something she wants to do for a living, but it’s something that she just enjoys. It helps to ease nerves and forget the day she’s had. She helps her mother raise her sister, something that wasn’t pushed onto her, but something she felted needed to help with. She has moved more times than she would rather say and she rarely stays in contact with those she’s met after. But she tries. No matter what it is, she always tries her hardest at everything and that’s something that amazes me. She’s my Superhero.
But the more I thought about it, the more Superheroes I can point out to you. And it amazes me.
My best friend is quiet and shy and smart and fragile and perfect.
That’s all lies and shame on you if you believe them.
My best friend, the real one, is loud and outgoing and stupid and strong and flawed. She may seem like all those lies at first glance, but once you get to know her, you know I’m right. That same girl too shy to talk in class is my best friend that sends me links to the most bizarre things, in an attempt to scar me. That girl that sits in the corner of the class is my best friend that is obsessed with her pets and dreams of working with animals one day. That same girl you don’t notice in the hallway is my best friend that doesn’t know how to let people help her because she was raised not to involve anyone. And she’ll never know how that kills me. That girl that walked out of class first is my best friend that promises that I’ll never be rid of her (I pray that promise lasts). That girl with perfect grades is my best friend that is expected to have those grades no matter what. That quiet girl you just glanced over is my best friend that has a fear of speaking up and being judged. That girl that walked out of class first is my best friend that promises that I’ll never be rid of her (I pray that promise lasts). My best friend is a Superhero.
Some Superheroes are in hiding. I know a Superhero that I didn’t know was a Superhero until someone pointed out the obvious marks of a fight. He puts up a façade so no one has to worry about him, though those close to him do anyway. His Villains are reoccurring and don’t leave him alone, leaving fresh traces of the war. He questions why he keeps fighting some days, but most days He is the voice that tells everyone that they are worth fighting for. He listens to people’s struggles despite having to deal with his own. He’s a Superhero in disguise that doesn’t get the credit he deserves, and he deserves a lot. He’s a Superhero too.
I met a Superhero, seeing him as a just that. I didn’t think he’d actually even like me when we first met, I knew that he was a Superhero after all and I’m just a rude, loudmouth. Yet, slowly but surely, we did in fact become friends because of an alliance against a villain neither of us could stand. I soon realized why he’s a Superhero; for the simple fact that he’s a friend to everyone. He’s nice to everyone he meets and tries not to let anyone feel alone. I’ve heard people attack him for the fact, “too good to be real.” I know that he’s not a smiling idiot all the time, he’s had his bad days too, but he’s one of the few people I know who’s an optimist in every sense of the term. His smile is honest to god infectious and it’s one of the things I love most about him, as I have told him countless times. I hope he doesn’t listen to those villains and lose that smile. He’s a Superhero without even trying.
And then we have the exact opposite of him; a Superhero who is her own Villain. She thinks so lowly of herself and often questions her own existence, yet she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll meet. She takes care of everyone, she makes sure everyone is happy, she helps everyone with either problems. And then tells herself she isn’t important. My God, how that isn’t true. I can make a long list of points with this topic, we’ve been over it all. She just doesn’t believe me. But, you have no idea how ecstatic I was when she came to me three days ago and told me she’s happy. Not numb, not nothing, but actually genuinely happy. I felt I could cry from relief. My Superhero is fighting her Villains, it’s still a work in progress but she’s fighting. She’s a Superhero fighting for her own body.
The world looks at Superheroes as these perfect beings, creatures that can’t be damaged, that can do no wrong. But most Superheroes that we know to for their fame have these blaring flaws, breaking points, and questionable methods.
Superheroes don’t have to be perfect. Superheroes are allowed to break down. Superheroes are human too. But they fight Villains to protect what they value. Superheroes fight because they don’t want to have someone else suffers.
Don’t lie to me and say you never dreamed of being a Superhero at one point. Everyone dreamed of fighting monsters and going on adventures and saving a life. It’s a noble dream.
So why’d we give up on it?