I think it’s probably time to let you know that I’m Batman. Or rather, I sometimes fill in for Batman … which, by proxy, essentially makes me him. You see, Mr Wayne pays for me to spend 363 days of the year suntanning in my bat-suit here in foggy, rains-8-months-out-of-the-year Oregon so that at any moment, I will be prepared to take over for him. We all have days where getting out of bed is impossible … Bruce Wayne is no exception. Even just yesterday he had a bad case of food poisoning and I had to chase a kid down the street for his lack of moral virtue.
I share this because it’s a lie. Okay! I’m not really Batman. I am no superhero … nor even a superhero’s fill-in. I only wear costumes because it makes me feel special, not because I actually am special. Truth is, I am just this plain ol’ girl from a place no one has ever heard of in some sort of black hole that is full of finite resources and infinite ways to mess up. I walk around and no one sees me. I would seriously start investing in my invisibility powers, if it weren’t for the fact that when I really don’t want to be seen, I am.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had my nose stuck in books. I read them so intently, so fully, because they gave me something to live for. If I could just hold on a little bit longer, my fairy godmother would come for me soon. A prince would knock down my door and rescue me. I would develop the magical powers that were lying dormant inside. See, in books (the good ones, at least), it is always the weird-strange-misunderstood children that turned out to be the most extraordinary. And so I waited. I also exercised what skills I could. My grandparents lived in the country surrounded by a magnificent forest. I would run through, each day experiencing a new fairy tale. I befriended a unicorn, spoke to the trees, built castles, found time machines. I would don a mask and try to convince my grandmother that I was someone else — she obliged, and indulged in my fantasy. I truly found myself there. The world was unkind and unloving, but when I was reading or in that forest, the world was magical and inviting. I just knew that I would grow up to be different; a superhero.
Unfortunately, I grew up … and all of my firm beliefs turned into mere illusion. Essentially, I let go of my imagination upon the insistence of others. I needed to grow up. It was time. There was no good that came from living with a head up in the clouds. I found that the harsh realities of life were the most influential of all in sucking out everything I had once believed in. The cruelty of others, the betrayal, abuse … I suffered it, and yet, did not ever wake to find myself deported to the land I had so dreamed of. For a long time I lost sight of the childhood innocence I once had. In today’s world, most people look down upon the dreamers-the wishers. For a long time, I let them win.
But alas, I am magical, you see. The magical powers I had once wished on every star to someday possess, I have had all along. I may not be able to fly or read minds. I can’t step out my window at night and go off to Neverland. I am not the long lost daughter of a king. But what I am is a dreamer. To be a dreamer today is to be special. This is no easy feat. On the outside, I can easily become a pessimist. On this inside, however, is a world you will never see. I escape so very far away from this place that sometimes, it takes days to return. I still hear the, “You can’t be like this forever,” or the ‘lost cause’ titles being whispered around me … but I no longer care, as I used to. The people that do not understand dreamers, are the people who have given up on most of their own. They can no longer see the magic. They are probably terribly suffering from the coldness of this world. While I used to let them cause me to sink into my chair, feeling ashamed, I now pity them. What a miserable existence.
I will spend the rest of my days with my feet off the ground. With my head in the clouds. I will see the ugliness and coldness, but I will believe in the beauty. Not everyone can be a superhero, I am afraid, but we can all try a little harder to see more of the magic.