My Own Superhero

When you’re looking for inspiration, Mother Earth sure can deliver.

Hello again; long time, no see. I’m back from self-imposed exile. And by ‘self-imposed exile’ I mean falling into a well of depression and self-pity while simultaneously creating my own insurmountable crisis of writer’s block. It’s been great.

All kidding, sarcasm, and avoidance-humour aside, I’ve missed you.  I presume from everything I’ve read, all writers do what we do to share our stories. Certainly not to keep them pent up inside of us, thriving purely on self-congratulatory praise and diaphanous critique. To quote the inimitable Maya Angelou, ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

But words that were once sparkling confetti sprinkled in my mind waiting for me to pull them together into a mosaic of storytelling have been elusive. Inspiration became a dark room in which I could find no source of light. I felt my ideas were in there somewhere, invisible to me.

It’s a scary thing, to think the one thing you love doing more than any other may have been a fleeting, not-so-close brush with success and professional bliss. (Yes, I know I’m overstating but you get my point). The more I grappled to find my ‘locutive’* footing, the more elusive it became, like struggling in quicksand only to sink deeper. Sucked down by the cruel, indiscriminate combination of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt.

Two truths

Then, two truths revealed themselves to me.

If you’ve been following me here, you know I moved across the country in 2021, landing in a home overlooking Lake Okanagan. I am lucky, I know this. I am also suffocating. What this adventure exposed to this self-acknowledged introvert, is that I need to be in a vibrant community. I need the din of a city around me, sharing the ebb and flow while also being able to take refuge in my home to recharge. Our place in Toronto provided just that. Yet, it occurred to me recently that, although not ideal, my situation here is not dire. And most importantly, it’s fixable. So yes, we’ll be moving back. Gears are in motion; plans are being made. Another adventure awaits. More on that another time, you can be sure of it.

Deep down

A deeper, more fundamental truth also came to light. It was during one of my recent therapy visits when my wonderful therapist reminded me, as she always does, ‘It’s ok to feel safe when you are safe.’ And it clicked.

It’s ok to feel safe when you are safe

These past three years have been the first time in my life that I haven’t been actively fighting for or against something. No one has been questioning my place in my family or my home, no one taking credit for my accomplishments, no one diminishing my worth. No conditional love. No threats or ultimatums. Nothing to prove to anyone. I have been my own Superhero my entire life, always focused on making it past the immediate threat without having the luxury of planning what to do further into the future. What is one to do when at last provided the freedom from this burden? If you’re me, you balk against it. Until finally, gratefully, mercifully, you can take a breath and accept the gift of peace.

Breathe & accept

Without the albatross of worry or fear, I am free to do what I want to do. The chains have been removed. I can let go of the superhero defenses that have been preserving me my entire life, look beyond the right now and what I need to do to survive, into the great beyond, and what I can do to thrive. I turn 60 in a very few, short months. I’d like to make a few more big splashes in the time I am gifted on this earth.

As it turns out, when you’re not preoccupied with dealing with all that negative stuff, the positive stuff has room to flourish. So here I am. Words are coming. Inspiration is illuminating the corners of my mind once again.

I know there are a lot of you who still have to don your superhero shields to get from day to day. I want you to know I see you. I may not be able to relate to exactly what you’re going through but I just want you to know, you’re not alone.

And I wish for you, that there comes a day when you too can take off your armour, and just be you.

With love, retired superhero.


Is a word really a word if it only appears in Wiktionary and no other dictionaries? I’ll let you be the judge.

3 responses to “My Own Superhero”

  1. We hear constantly about how to manage stress, calm our minds and bodies, mitigate the physical effects but little about the void that comes when there is less stress.
    Beautiful writing and thoughts, as always. So glad that you’re finding your words again. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Isn’t it the truth… we’re programmed to keep busy busy busy; finding joy in the quiet can be harder than you’d think. Thanks for the encouragement, my darling friend! xoxo

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