If I Had A Superpower
And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.
Cece Bell, El Deafo
I’ve always had a Superpower. I’m different. I’m not different like you are, not that kind of unique that we are all told as children that we are. I’m not the unique that our parents always tell us to celebrate so that we feel good about ourselves.
I’m different because for most of my life I have truly embraced that uniqueness. When I realized that I was weird and funny and able to make my dad laugh, I made that a full-time job.
My mom didn’t always think I was as funny because I was wildly inappropriate at times, like in churches or classrooms, places where one should be silent or respectful, I would be the one to whisper that awful thing that everyone was thinking but no one would ever dare say.
I imitated comedians, I had my own televangelist that healed with a, “Say Baby!” and a smack to the forehead. One night at dinner I imitated John Belushi’s “Zit Popping” scene from Animal House at the dinner table with a mouthful of rice pilaf. We never just “ate dinner”. We had the full setup, the cloth napkin, and candlesticks combo every night. Me pushing rice pilaf out of my stuffed cheeks was not entirely welcome.
But it was entirely necessary. Come on. I was funny.
Then I wasn’t
I lost my Superpower.
Self-pity and grown up crap got in the way of fun and silly. I made decisions too quickly, too young. A lead cloak dropped over me shutting down my Superpower.
When I found a way to find a funny job, or really it was more making my job funny, I got my mojo back. My Superpower returned and people loved it. I would travel around the country teaching people things. They would laugh and because they were laughing they would learn more. That is science. I cannot help that science allowed me to apply my Superpower to what might have otherwise been boring.
And that is where I found the man that loves me because I made him laugh.
Then I lost my mojo.
I lost my mojo to illness and pain and self-pity and most of all, fear.
I could always tell when my Superpower was gone. It felt like I was strapped down by the weight of a 50-pound rock of kryptonite. That is when my dad wouldn’t laugh anymore. Instead of laughing he was saying things like, “Juli,we just want you to be happy.”
The Thing About My Superpower
The thing about my Superpower is that it’s not just intended to entertain, not just something for kicks. I have always wanted to just make you, all of you, happy. When you are happy, I am happy.
When you feel ill and I make you laugh, you feel better: science.
When we are talking about something medical and boring and out of nowhere I come up with some odd fact about what we are talking about and how you can feel better, not because of medicine but because there is some happiness factor, my husband laughs and you laugh or smile and you do the thing I mentioned and you feel better.
When you say the words Chronically Awesome there is no way to avoid smiling, and you feel better. Science.
I have lost my mojo a few times, but when I got it, “Say Baaaybe”, I got it.
And, I made my dad laugh really hard yesterday, litmus test, daddy approved.
I am a Chronically Awesome superhero.
I bet you already have your superpower too.
This post was written as a part of WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writers Month Challenge