Thinking about my future a lot recently, it's also led me to think of where I've been - what I've accomplished, what mistakes I've made, and the people who have been there to witness it all and help mold me to who I am. Do you remember writing prompts in elementary school? Tell about a memory. What is your favorite holiday? Who is your hero? Who is YOUR hero? I remember specifically this was my prompt on one of my TAKS test (when I was younger, this was the state mandated standardized test we had to take to move on to the next grade). Mostly, I remember lying. While most of my friends discussed the superheroes that filled their thoughts, or their parents for being the greatest ever - I never felt as it though I had one true hero. One person who I wanted to be like thru and thru. My family, while I loved them, wasn't what I aspired to be like as a 6th grader. Unknowingly of how much I would appreciate them later in life. Instead, I wrote about the fictional ideal that a hero was in my head, pretending I had this person in real life.
Growing up, I see now how my vision was flawed. Sometime along the way, there became a realization that the reason I never could think of a hero was because there were so many around me. Heroes were a norm I didn't know were norms. There's heroic traits in everyone in my circle that I learned from. There was heroism in my mother, for being a single mother of 4 and giving us great paths to success despite no one ever being on her side. That is pure courage, not the kind Spiderman has when he jumps from building to building. There was heroism from my grandma, for showing undeniable love to anyone that needed love despite who they were and the mistakes they made. That is pure vulnerability, not the kind Superman has when kryptonite is around.
More recently, I've taken notice of the little heroes in my life. My friends, for saving me day after day without ever really knowing it or trying to. The advisor of our organization, for putting something into rebuilding something I care so much about and working harder during her 9-5 than any superhero. Nice strangers, for giving me hope in humanity in a much broken world full of people moving too fast to stop and be polite.
What I take from this, is hopefully a little heroism within myself as well. A hero, to me, is not a person who is perfect, I've learned. Instead, it's been the people around me all along who've made this life as beautiful as it has been.