Sunday, May 4, 2014

Two Years

Blogging Friends.... Sorry about how the words are spaced. And its size. Because, really?! Blogger was being a cosmic pain in the ass!! I can't work with this!! Oh wait. I do all the time.... Love you later.

 {This was taken from my Life Story--an entire chapter!!--sorry it is so lengthy!! I added the quotation, though!! It was not put in my Life Story!!}


I never expect to have an impact on anything, except perhaps a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour. --Robert Downey Jr.


"It's a... terrible privilege"

Inspiration. Sometimes it can occur during the most unlikely of moments. Yes, the most unlikely of moments. Because sometimes inspiration can occur when we least expect it. Like a pleasant surprise. And, sometimes inspiration can also be produced from the most unlikely of people. Or the most unlikely of movie characters. During such moments, it can virtually feel as though some powerful lightning bolt has extended from our heavens, striking you senseless. Yes, some powerful lightning bolt!! Then, ZAP, your heart and soul are affected. ZAP, just like that. Then afterward, you are never, ever, ever the same. Why? Because self-acceptance, plus personal change takes place. That's right. Self-acceptance, plus personal change. This literally occurred to me. On Friday, May 4th, 2012. A date which shall forever remain securely locked within my psyche. Because I threw away the key, which is now buried deep, deep, deep underneath some virtual landfill. It all began when I was sitting in a local movie theater, popcorn's buttery aroma wafting through our room. They were showing the film which comic book nerds, Robert Downey Junior fanatics, elementary-aged kids, and moviegoers alike had long anticipated. "The Avengers".
We did not drive to our closest theater for this movie, which is located near Stark Street. (No, that little fact wasn't fictionalized!! Honest!! Life can just possess a very, uh, "punny" sense of humor!!) Instead, we drove toward the city closer to my childhood home. This theater's facility is seemingly smaller in size than the one near Stark Street. It's a grey and tan-colored brick building with tall front door windows. Bright red uppercase letters boldly spell CINEMA upon the side of this theater. Now, we seldom ever see movies there. And chances are, I will never set foot in that theater again. That theater where magic took place. See, while watching this action-packed superhero movie, laughing at its humorous lines, and becoming completely immersed, not to mention entertained, my inspiration was conceived from Tony Stark!! I repeat. Tony Stark!! Yeah, I was a bit shocked about that concept myself!! Tony Stark. An inspiration?! As a writer, part of the job is describing locations, people, or our five senses, even. It's at least 50% observation. Maybe more. And I have a few select words to describe Tony Stark, not all of them positive. He is arrogant. Cocky. Insensitive. Volatile. Self-obsessed. And very, very, very human. (How is that for "a few select words"?)
Yet, Tony Stark is also very, very, very loveable!! How does Robert Downey Junior do that? A natural charming personality? Brilliant acting? Lifelong personal experience? Or, are we all simply attracted to such characters? (Hmmm. Considering the very fact that Han Solo was always my favorite good guy character from George Lucas' original, now-classic "Star Wars" films, apparently, I am!! You know what? I possess a long laundry list of "guys in transition" movie/television character crushes. A long, long, long, long, long laundry list!! Should I be concerned? Nah!!) But Tony Stark. He is also witty. Not to mention heroic. He is evolving. Plus gradually maturing. He is an unlikely Avenger!! Tony Stark can have some real, serious, and deep moments, where--if your mind wanders for even one second--you miss them. Yes, you miss them. And these are lines which should always be heard from audiences. Yes, always. Because. Because you just might learn from them. So, there I was, sitting in my theater chair, when this scene took its turn on the screen....
Tony Stark: You know, I've got a cluster of shrapnel, trying every second to crawl its way into my heart.
(Stark points at the mini-arc reactor in his chest)
Tony Stark: This stops it. This little circle of light. It's part of me now, not just armor. It's a... terrible privilege.
Bruce Banner: But you can control it.
Tony Stark: Because I learned how.
Bruce Banner: It's different.
(Banner tries to read the computer screen, but Stark slides the data aside with his finger so the two can see face-to-face)
Tony Stark: Hey, I've read all about your accident. That much gamma exposure should have killed you.
Bruce Banner: So you're saying that the Hulk... the other guy... saved my life? That's nice. It's a nice sentiment. Save it for... what?
Tony Stark: I guess we'll find out.
(Banner and Stark get back to work at their respective computers)
Bruce Banner: You might not enjoy that.
Tony Stark
: You just might.
Then, something extraordinary occurred. Yes, something extraordinary!! Watching that scene in our darkened movie theater, Tony Stark reached through its colossal-sized screen, and, with his muscular arms, he grabbed me!! Yes, he grabbed me!! (Figuratively speaking, of course. Tony Stark did not literally grab me!! But he may as well have.) Because, Tony Stark captured this woman with attention deficit disorder's undivided concentration all the same!! Yes, he captured my undivided concentration. And, suddenly, I was magically transported into the theater's wide screen. I was there, touching futuristic computer screens alongside Tony Stark. Bruce Banner did not exist. I have never experienced this while watching any film before!! As resulted, Tony Stark now has a firm grip on my psyche and will not let go!! He refuses to. (Which, has surprised me immensely, seeing that I am a "one step forward, two steps back" flawed personality type!!) Why is it, exactly, did Tony Stark firmly grip my psyche during that scene in "The Avengers"? Simple answer. As we watched this film, I reached a mental conclusion that, personality-wise, I am just like Bruce Banner.
How so? See, Bruce Banner possesses an incredible gift. Yes, an incredible gift. Because, all Bruce Banner needs to do is lose control of his anger. Simple as that. And enemies? "Be afraid, be very afraid", as that saying goes!! For once this comic book superhero character does lose control, he morphs into a wildly screaming muscular body-builder-like green monster!! It's as though Bruce Banner is under the influence of some rapidly-acting performance enhancing drug!! He can destruct property, smash through hard surfaces, and, yes, murder people. No anger management class available in the universe could "save" his condition!! And this is all resulted from "unfortunate" circumstances. Gamma exposure. A science experiment gone awry. Then, suddenly, sans any warning, Bruce Banner became The Incredible Hulk!! Just like that. What an amazing ability. Yet, he would spend years wishing away these superpowers. Yes, years. Kind of like me, the weird and crazy learning disabled freak. The oddball.
See, when Tony Stark told Bruce Banner off during that scene, so confident, calm, casual, rational, plus matter-of-fact, once his lips spoke the line: "It's a... terrible privilege." , I strongly felt as though he was talking directly to me!! That's right. Tony Stark was point-blank telling me off!! And, suddenly, the very message of self-acceptance which those who I am in close proximity to had been long preaching, he conveyed within minutes!! Yes, minutes!! Now, experts say that lightning never strikes twice in one location. (Well!! I was a female "Cranio" baby!! I do not abide by experts' rules!!) See, we saw "The Avengers" twice in that local theater. Yes, twice!! And certainly enough, my powerful lightning bolt struck again. Because, this scene was not any less influencing the second time around. For Tony Stark pulled me into the screen!! Yes, he pulled me into the screen. You know what? I can even personalize Tony Stark's lines. Alter them a bit. I can make his lines befitting to me. For my life story. Like this.
Learning disabilities. They are part of me, not just limitations. Birth defects. Hey, I know all about your medical problems. That congenital diaphragmatic hernia and collapsed lung could have killed you. Doctor's surgical skills. (Myself, in place of Bruce Banner). So you're saying that the surgeons... The Other Guy... saved my life? That's nice. It's a nice sentiment. Save it for... what? (Tony Stark). I guess we'll find out. See, God saved my life. Plus He preserved its quality. In a sense, as ridiculous as this may sound, God is The Other Guy. I have now watched this scene countless times. Yes, countless times. And I can quote every one of Tony Stark's lines throughout this scene. Effortlessly!! Sometimes I silently whisper them, so that my ears can hear Robert Downey Junior's soft, deep voice recite his lines. Because I must hear them. For it is vital to my emotional/mental well-being like blood flow through one's veins. So very vital. Because Tony Stark speaks into my heart. He speaks into my soul. He speaks into my life. Every time. I oft choke up while watching this scene. I shed real, physical tears. Then, for the first time in far too many years, I feel something. Something called personal change, and self-acceptance. What a palpable, palpable, palpable feeling. And to think that this was inspired by an odd movie line!! It's a... terrible privilege.
I oft wonder how an egotistical, hubris, prima donna character like Tony Stark could have ever impacted my life. You know what? I have zero answers!! I guess Tony Stark was simply "in the right place at the right time" as that phrase goes, during a current life season of mine. For, unbeknownst to me, personal change and self-acceptance were previously on the horizon, like some red blazing sunrise. After all, God did speak these words several months earlier. "I have a New Year's Resolution for you. Accept yourself--learning disabilities and all. You can't break this New Year's Resolution." For that scene in "The Avengers" was an unexpected experience, my life changing moment. And a great one at that!! For Tony Stark has touched, transformed, and left an incredibly profound impact on my life!! Yes, an impact!! I will never forget that. I refuse to. For I was touched by a schmuck!! In every single sense of the word!! For this, I am eternally grateful!! Yes, eternally grateful. Experts say that toddlers' brains are like little sponges soaking everything in. Well, I may be an adult, but mine is no different. And this will all most likely require the rest of my existence soaking in before making complete sense. But that is growth. An evolution to my character. Much-needed healing.
I am overly nostalgic. And, had I been even remotely capable of predicting that my life would change on Friday, May 4th, 2012, I'd have drank it all in. I'd have observed everything. (In fact, the only reason why I know what the theater's building looked like is because we pass it every Sunday on our way to church!!) Yes, I would have memorized a few details. Such as the exact showing time of our movie. I would have kept my ticket stub simply for memory's sake. And our theater's room number? Such a detail as well would have been memorized. See, I can act like some tourist in my own city pulling out this mental camera, and snapping imaginary photographs. Therefore, I would have observed their "Avengers" movie poster. Or the people who attended along with us. I would have observed our room's light fixtures, even!! You can say that I have forgotten every piece of nostalgic fact from that day--which is one reason why this premature short-term memory loss sufferer writes in the first place--to remember. But then again. How can one forget what was never even observed? But that is the beauty which lies within such an unexpected moment. I never could have planned it even if I'd tried!! No, I never could have planned it.
So now, on an almost daily basis, I consider the very fact that my entire existence is "a terrible privilege". Because, after all. One out of every 2,000 live births are affected by craniosynostosis. Yes, one out of every 2,000 live births. This neurological birth defect mostly affects male babies. I was one of them. A baby girl born with craniosynostosis. One out of every 2,500 live births are affected by congenital diaphragmatic hernias in the United States. Yes, one out of every 2,500 live births. Approximately 1,600 babies are born each year with C.D.H.. Yes, 1,600 babies. Only 10% of cases occur on the right side. Yes, 10%. And. Only approximately 50% of babies who are inflicted with C.D.H. live. Yes, 50%. I was one of them. A right-sided (At least that's where my abdomen scar is located!!) C.D.H. survivor. One to three in 1,000 people worldwide are affected by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Yes, one to three in 1,000 people worldwide. You know what? As a self-described "journalist at heart", I love statistics!! I am literally fascinated by them!! How befitting that I would fall among such insane statistics. From my moment of conception. To the second I was born. From my birth defects. To undiagnosed "developmental delays". I lead a weird and crazy life. (Kind of like me!!) And yet, I've discovered--gradually--that when my learning disabilities are concerned, I truly was "chosen". For reasons beyond anybody's--beyond my own--comprehension. Yes, "chosen". To live. For God's Glory. "It's a... terrible privilege." . Every second of my story is. What a deeply humbling concept.

2 comments:

Molly The Wally said...

To accept is to find peace and that is so not an easy thing to do. You have found more than most and just have faith and keep writing. Who knows what is round the corner? You have travelled a difficult path but you are stronger for it and you have insights many of us long for. Have a serene Sunday and enjoy some big easy today.
Best wishes Molly

Raelyn said...

Molly....
Thank-you for the comment, Friend!!
"To accept is to find peace and that is so not an easy thing to do. You have found more than most and just have faith and keep writing. Who knows what is round the corner? You have travelled a difficult path but you are stronger for it and you have insights many of us long for." Thanks, Friend!! I needed to read those encouraging words today!! ;op