Come Write in #21 - We can all be heroes

Why is it we go through life needing heroes? We all do it – some consciously and some do it subconsciously. Some are serious, some flippant, and some completely misguided.

We call these heroes all sorts of things. Some are mentors, teachers and even our parents. Some people idolise the values and masculinity of comic book heroes like Batman and Superman or the strength, independence and rebelliousness of Wolverine. We worship religious figures, celebrities, actors or people who excel in their fields like doctors, scientists, business people.

There’s the intellectuals, the artists, writers and philosophers who could be named. And then there are ‘every day’ heroes; people we have met and admired and perhaps even aspire to be like them.

Are you anyone’s hero? I never, ever thought I would put on the tshirt with the big S but apparently there is someone out there who sees me in this role. It blows me away somewhat. I have done nothing heroic, as far as I am concerned. I have survived serious illness and the baggage I have grown up with, as well as some rather sordid events in my earlier young adulthood. I lived through a less-than-perfect marriage and survived the loss of love and eventual divorce with a friendship still in tact. I’m a bit proud of that one but of course it took two … well, three counting our daughter.

What have I done that is admired? I find this question really hard because I live with a harsh inner-critic. I know this is not unusual, especially for people who are involved in artistic or creative lives. I have yet to write or create something that I would pursue to publish or sell with great passion. If I waited for the passion, nothing of mine would ever be seen by another living soul. But being the needy creative that I am, I seek feedback.

I am told it is indeed my creative streak that inspired the ‘hero’ tag. The person who told me this also asked me not to reveal all my frailties and that he needed to believe that I had some kind of imperviousness to failure. He did not want to know I have fears of all sorts of kryptonite. I surely hope he does not read this.

It was a strange thing to reveal to me from my perspective. It is these frailties that I see in others that give me hope in my own future. I know that sounds really unkind. I don’t wish them on other people, but seeing that I share some of these things and knowing these people achieve despite them is what really gives me hope.

But I wonder again about the hero thing. Perhaps it is an infantile thing and that we all need to believe that someone is out there who can stop the boulder falling on our head, give us answers, be there to take the blame that would otherwise float in the ether and land on no one’s shoulders.

I don’t really know. I do know that I wish I had someone like this to believe in – more so that there is someone who could look after things for awhile so I could sleep. Fear not, I am not in the pits of despair. I’m just feeling wistful.

Just thinking about it.
Just thought I’d write about it.
Just the ponderings that flash through my mind every few seconds.


  • Tom Godfrey
    Tom Godfreyalmost 2 years ago

    Talking of writing, Anne, I finally finished the book of my crazy art journey. I did it using Blurb. I have not made it public yet, but just letting you know. I feel like a super-hero just because I achieved the goal of completing a major project, purely on self-motivation :)
    It takes a lot of courage to admit weakness and that means you must be a super-hero. I like to believe that our reality is a cosmic classroom, where we discover our frailties and the frailties in others, and slowly start taking steps to becoming immortal super-heroes. Helps me to sleep anyway :) Thanks for posting -Happy New Year

  • Happy New Year to you Tom and it’s great to hear from you. Congrats … big congrats on the book. :) Looking forward to seeing it. And thanks too for reading my bloggy stuff. hehehe

    – Anne van Alkemade

  • Tom Godfrey
    Tom Godfreyalmost 2 years ago

    My pleasure Anne. I don’t seem to have spent much time browsing and commenting this year, so maybe that will be a New Year’s reso for me…or not? :) Keep whimsical, reflective and happy – outrun the dogs of despair – yeeeehaaaa! :)

  • Danny
    Dannyalmost 2 years ago

    Unsung hero is much a staple in today’s world like unfulfilled potential and undiscovered talent. These latter decades have fuelled all kinds of new philosophies based around certain social standards that in the past our parents would say in today’s vernacular: " Suck it up sweetheart" If you believe you are doing a good job, just have faith in yourself, especially if you have the runs on the board. Questioning praise from peers seems a bit silly, isn’t that what we crave? Believe what I say about your work. It’s good.

  • :) thanks as always Danny. :)

    – Anne van Alkemade

  • Lawford
    Lawfordalmost 2 years ago

    If I hear a TV commentator or news reader call a cricketer or footballer a hero I swear I’ll throw something at the telly.

  • Me too Lawford – one of my many pet hates about modern commentators!

    – Anne van Alkemade