of Superheroes

A while back, I developed this habit to cope with negative emotion; I would imagine myself as a superwoman of some sorts. Invincible by whatever disappointment and hurt life would throw at me all so regularly. With time, this coping mechanism evolved into a “personality” of its own. I like to think of it as my alter-ego. So on times when I am not being the Clarie everyone knows (okay, very few people really know me but that’s not the point), I am being super clarie. (I will think of something more creative in a while) super clarie is a very emotionally composed person. Actually, she is very un-feeling (is that a word?). She has a poker face and the closest she will get to show any emotion is looking away. And very importantly, she wears long white dresses, red lipstick, drinks expensive wine and smokes cigars. So it is in those days when I can feel emotion gnawing into my soul, threatening my very existence. When I have promised myself not to cry so many times it begins to sound like a broken record. When I can barely hold it in, when it all crumbles down, that I put my super-clarie cap on and for days or so, people have told me I become a very cold person.
“It is like you are a totally different person.” of course, I cannot tell them that on those days, I am. With the exception of the dresses, lipstick, wine and cigars. So I usually end up saying something like, “I am just trying to get through life, aren’t we all? “ So recently someone asked me, “can’t you just talk to someone?” I just shook my head. But honestly, is it not a lot more fun, to be super-clarie? You see, I just did not wake up one morning and decided I would create an alter-ego and make her wear long white dresses. It was a process. Plus, of all colours, you think I would choose white? For all I know white symbolizes purity. And what part about red lipstick, wine and cigars spells purity? And white is a very difficult colour to maintain. This alter-ego business is me trying, just like everybody else, to get through life. It is me pretending, hoping to be stronger than I feel. It is me reaching into my depleted smile savings account and loaning one or two just to keep me going. It is me offering a helping hand, giving a friend a shoulder to cry on when I can rarely breathe. And come to think of it, isn’t this the concept of superheroes? Putting our pain aside and in the process hoping we can get through life and while we are at it, make someone else smile wider, if not brighter?
And while super-clarie doesn’t always last that long. Eventually, I find myself on the bathroom floor crying my lungs out. And once in a while, I will open up to a close friend and admit I am not okay. That I am screwed up and don’t know what to do. But those few days of being super-clarie have taught me one vital lesson; that deep inside there is a superhero. And yeah, sometimes I have to look a lot deeper compared to other times to find her. Also, there are times I feel like I have lost her. But if I keep at it, she will come through. And when she does, there is nothing she wouldn’t get me through. She will move mountains, cross seas and pass through fire just to see me smile again. And when that doesn’t work, she will sit with me in that bathroom floor and wait for me to finish crying then gently remind me that I will be okay.  So what really am I saying? That we all have our superheroes. That we are our own superheroes. We just have to be crazy enough to believe it.

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