I consider myself a little atypical of my demographic. Being the parent of an obviously disabled child can do that. When you’re walking through the local video store and little kids are so transfixed on us they walk into fixtures, you know you stand out. But here’s the thing:
I accept that I’m atypical. I accept that we’re different.
I wrote a book called THE CANDIDATE’S DAUGHTER which is about a woman who has fought for six years against being the parent of a disabled child. It’s about her journey to overcome – not her child’s disabilities – but her own.
Of course, writing is something I get a lot of pleasure out of…okay, there’s heartache, self-doubt, frustration and a few other things writers would relate to, along the way.
So in between times, I read and I garden. I’ll go into my other pursuits a little later. I don’t want to lose you this soon, right?
So, no weirdness thus far, correct? No crazies lurking in this blog, agree? But wait, there’s more…
At the tender age of 56, I play Xbox. I’ve played for years. And no, I don’t play The Sims, and build sweet families and dinky little towns. I don’t spend time constructing an alter-ego on the internet so I can live vicariously through some made-up reality. I go straight for the throat. I play hack and slash role-playing-games like Assassin’s Creed, Fallout 3 and Dead Island. I learned pretty damn quick how to shoot on Left 4 Dead because if you don’t, ten zillion zombies burst from the darkened bushes and take you down with all those ghastly gnawing sounds. I’ve played all the Tomb Raiders, the Bioshocks (except the latest), and at the moment I’m hacking my way through the dungeons of hell as one of the riders of the apocalypse. I’m a pretty credible gamer, even if I say so myself. None my friends play these games.
Neither do they watch anime. I don’t watch heaps of anime. A lot of it involves clothes inexplicably exploding off the characters and you find the storyline meandering down the shady paths of soft porn…but I digress. (Bear with me, you’ll see where I’m going with this.)
I’ve followed an anime series called Naruto from the beginning. It’s about an orphaned boy whose dream is to become a great ninja, and eventually, the hokage (or leader) of the village.
The thing is, I was recently reminded of an episode of Naruto that ran a while back, in which he comes face-to-face with his worst enemy to date – himself. His dark self. Dark Naruto naturally has equal skill, equal abilities, equal training – I mean, he’s a clone! Except dark. And to make matters worse, Good Naruto, must overcome Dark Naruto, without killing him. Whoa!
There’s fighting and fortunately a lack of explosive clothing, until finally, the two Naruto’s come face-to-face – a stand-off, one each side of a mystical waterfall. Tension builds. You’re just wondering how the heck Good Naruto will ever get out of this, when suddenly, Dark Naruto bursts from the flow of water, his black eyes boring into his target. He hurtles forth intent in all his evilness on destruction and mayhem. But in a flash, the Good Naruto responds. He reaches out, grasps his enemy, and draws him into a loving embrace. For some moments he holds Dark Naruto close, loving him, forgiving him, accepting him, and all at once, a whole Naruto is formed.
So here’s the long-winded point I’m driving at – embrace your strange. Clasp your inner-weird to your breast. Rejoice in your atypical-ness. You’re the only you you’ll ever have.
Learn to love it.
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