Playing Superman

In my pre-preschool days, my favorite pair of pajamas was this Superman outfit - complete with cape (the toy stethoscope and doctor’s glasses were not a part of the outfit, but somehow I managed to combine medical care with the world of superheroes). My cousin and I used to pretend that we were Superman and Lois Lane. Of course, at that age, we didn't understand that Lois was a romantic interest of Clark Kent. I just thought she was an accident prone girl who always needed rescue.

Ah, the lessons we learn as we grow up.

Shortly after graduating high school, I purchased Blindside's self-titled debut album. During some difficult times, I often found solace in this brutally crushing album. Even now, in a more stable place in my life, this is a record I can listen to over and over - one of those albums I can play at full volume through my car's stereo and scream along with it while not feeling remotely silly.

One song has become an anthem for me, a song titled “Superman.” Not because I have an unhealthy megalomaniacal self-image, but because the song touches that strange dichotomy between who I am and who I once was. The lyrics clearly recognize weaknesses in our humanity: "Just like you with my hands I can make mistakes. I wish that I could stop playing superman. I have decided to let the case drop. I'm not superman." The four year old version of me had high hopes, but today, I realize I'm not Superman.

It's strange how, as kids, we wanted nothing more than to be heroes. We want to save the world. Why is it as adults, we lose that dream? Is the real world too heavy a burden?

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