A couple of days ago, I sent River Fox Woman a love note. She’d been on my mind, and it occurred to me that it had been a while since I’d stopped and told her in no uncertain terms how much her friendship means to me: she knows me better than pretty much anyone else on earth, has been around longer, and has seen me through more ups and downs than is even holy. And she’s just cool as hell, y’know? One of those people who makes other people better just by knowing her, who pushes people to greatness and inspires them to be amazing, who takes no crap from anyone and is first in line to administer hugs or smacks in the head as needed, who has helped refine the way I think about life and love and friendships and relationships, and who has been incredibly instrumental in my journey toward being the person I am today (well, the good parts, anyway. The rough parts are totally not her fault).
And I realized, as I was drafting my love letter, that it had probably never occurred to her that simply by waking up in the morning, she was being someone’s hero.
And then I realized that this is probably true for most of us.
So here’s your Weekend World-Changer Homework, ‘Tracters: Embrace your inner superhero.
One of my friends from way back in the day has become a police officer in the town where I grew up and where my mother still lives. Frankly, I sleep significantly better at night knowing that he’s on the job (SM, I’m lookin’ at you here. Thank you so much for doing your part to keep that city safe). Whether he knows it or not, he’s a superhero: he doesn’t get Batman’s cool gadgets, but he does the same job, and I for one am profoundly proud to know him. Maybe we should start a petition to get the police officers capes….
Two other friends (Hi there, MS and KH-C!), plus my own baby brother (I know, right? Hiya, Budder!) work for a local charity that distributes food to the hungry here where we live. They just, y’know, get dressed and go do their jobs, and as a result of their actions, people can eat and live. They are absolutely superheroes: I mean, seriously, they are literally feeding the people. Not too shabby for, like, a Tuesday.
Lots of friends of mine are parents. They post hilarious things on their Facebook pages, show off how awesome their kids are becoming, and spend all day, every day, with no breaks ever, working to make sure that the next generation of humanity is more amazing than this one. Superheroes, the ruddy lot of ’em.
And there are teachers, and doctors, and artists, and spiritual leaders, and and and…I could go on like this for a long time. I am surrounded by superheroes, is what I’m sayin’, and most of ’em probably don’t think about themselves that way. They’re just people, doin’ what they do, and coincidentally changing the world while they’re at it.
So your homework for this weekend is to identify and embrace your own inner superhero. Stop for a second and look at yourself from the outside: what is it that you do that would make someone else brag about knowing you? How have you changed the world already today, simply by doing what you always do? If you were going to be drawn into a comic book, what would your superhero name be? How would your cape look? Why would the mayor give you the key to the city?
And once you’ve figured out your own superhero-osity (yes, that’s a word, because I said so), give yourself a pat on the back. Take yourself out to dinner somewhere nice, and pretend it’s a banquet being thrown by the city to thank you for your hard work. Make yourself an award, or have your kids make you one.
You are amazing, whether you usually realize it or not. So take a moment to congratulate yourself. The world needs superheroes, and I for one am so. spectacularly. grateful. that you’re here.