So, when I was little I wanted to become a doctor. While at first adults around me might have thought it’s just a bee in a child’s bonnet, I stuck with this plan even when my teacher took me to the side and told me to abandon it. These were East German times, spots for education past 10th grade were very limited and were not to be wasted on girls. I didn’t agree. I might have lacked social skills, making me an oddball in a place trimmed for teaching conformerism, but without any effort I was easily the best, four legs on all my chromosomes or not.
Well, I didn’t become a doctor in the end, but it was not because I wasn’t allowed to study. Meanwhile the Wall had fallen and everything had changed, except for the people. I simply discovered that I faint or puke when being confronted with despair and pain. Mostly I faint. Puking was strictly limited to the one occasion I had to administer first aid to my brother, bleeding like a pig from a head wound, he obtained when jumping head first into a wall. Yes, he is a very smart guy, one of the best in his field, but on this one occasion puberty’s cerebral black-out got him. And just to be clear, I puked after I had patched him up and he was on his way to the hospital.
So, I faint occasionally. It’s not the big, flashy wounds that get me, but hand injuries of any kind. That plus the fact that I possess no depth perception whatsoever made me reconsider my career choice.
It was a time of turmoil. It was a time of change. Nothing was the way it should be. Everything seemed possible. And next to the many things I gained throughout these years, I lost something – certainty.
I would never be the doctor. What would make me the hero then?
Yes, I said it. In all my dreams, in all my fantasies, in every logic and illogic conclusion of my self-conception I am a hero and not the mass. Usually, I am the reluctant hero, first recognized by others as such by my talents and work. But I am to keep the prize.
OK, you can now start to make fun of me. It won’t change much. The belief in the hero in me is deeply rooted. My whole self-image shines in armor. That the hero is the artist was a bit harder to accept. And it is still a concept I am struggling with from time to time. Who was the last hero rescuing the world with colors and brushes? But hey, I am a kick ass artist – talented, intelligent, beautiful! [If I practice some more I can even say this with certainty.]
The problem with the hero in me is that he demands the recognition, he thinks to deserve. Non-responsiveness, blog stats, disinterest – he takes it personal. His frustration is my frustration. His sadness causes my heart to bleed. His doubts hit my self-esteem like bullets.
Yet then, I am the hero. The artist. If I am not that, I am nothing.