I get ideas in my head. I call them my ‘light bulbs.’ These ideas will happen in the most unexpected moments that take me by utter shock: When I wake up from a vivid dream, when I am driving in the car listening and singing along to my favorite songs, when I am underneath water holding my breath, or when I am steeping in a whirlpool of hot bubbles and jets. Some say my ideas are crazy. Many more may even think I’m crazier because the thing about my light bulb moments is they burn so bright in my head into near obsessions that I have no choice but to go into execution mode to see if they take flight or fall flat.
My latest idea, or light bulb moment, burnt bright when I started to suddenly ponder about superpowers—don’t ask me why I was thinking of superpowers because I do not have an answer.
Growing up, there were many superpowers I wished for.
The very first superpower I wanted was to read people’s minds, but then I realized how scary that would be to read the bad thoughts that people had of me. Of course, if you are going to read the good in people’s minds, you are also going to have to take on the bad. More than that, the intrigue and fun in getting to know each other is removed with the ability to read people’s minds.
Then, I wanted to have superpowers of time. Go back to undo the mistakes I made that resulted in pain, anguish, guilt, and remorse. Go way, way, way back when times seemed simpler and easier. Fast forward to the future to see how everything I dreamed and imagined would come true. I also wished I could freeze time. However, I realized that I was not living in the present and how I live my life without any regrets. Nothing and no one is waste. Everyone has and will serve their purpose in my life and in the bigger picture of this world. Mistakes are gifts because that is how we learn and live on. Time has always been the greatest fascination to me.
However, out of all the superpowers I could have and all I really wanted and not just merely wished for was this: Fly.
This is why you will find me looking up to the sky at puffy clouds, the blinding sunshine, the twinkling stars, and the swollen pregnant or crescent teardrop-shaped moons. This is why I am fearless to board an airplane to travel 14 hours to Hong Kong rather than an hour or more drive outside of where I live. This is why in every single place I have traveled to, I request and gallivant to the sites where I will force my body to climb to the very highest point to be and feel the power of being on top of the world. This is why my #1 Live List item is to get on a hot air balloon so I can feel absolutely weightless without any worries in this world.
My love and wish to fly has followed me throughout my life. But, I could never fly. I was always literally and physically behind trying to catch up. I did not start walking “right” until I was 5-years-old. I could never skip and run. I never learned how to and could not ride a bicycle—maybe I can now (this is another live list item). I limped and was on crutches and was in a wheelchair as needed starting at around 9 or 10-years-old. My legs were too weak to kick in the swimming pool and I forced myself to learn to swim to face my fear and embrace my fascination with water by the time I was 10-years-old. Water was the one sanctuary place where I was physically limitless and free from pain.
Over 30 years later and after only knowing basic strokes of free style, backstroke, breast stroke and, my favorite, floating, I returned to my superpower wish to fly by announcing to my swim coach that I met two years ago when training for the first time at the Transplant Games of America:
“I want to learn how to dive or jump into the water. I want to fly.”
So, for nearly a month, I’ve been trying to spread my wings and fly. My ‘wings’ are weak. I come away from my once 30 minute swim sessions to nearly an hour now with my body screaming soreness in places I’ve never experienced to a soaring determination spirit that I can overcome both my physical and mental hurdles—and this is not me even jumping off the edge of the pool yet, but only sitting on the edge in streamline position to do a semi-slide dive in the water. I’m so excited and scared. There is something so exhilarating and so terrifying to stand up tall in a place where you are all alone and to see your reflection that you are about to plunge into. There is nothing so challenging as to try to bring together the mind and body in a happy marriage of limitless and limitations.
No one has seen my practice sessions. No one can feel my fight of trying to bring together my wired and fired mind with my even more hyper sensitive body. Only lifeguards and other swimmers who probably wonder who is this girl with her hands up in the air. They have no clue that I am fighting so hard to face my fear and make my dream to fly a reality. It is easy to dream, say, and wish, but it is a hard as hell to make it come true. No one has or will experience my process or progress. Everyone will just see my final performance and end result. People do not know of the struggles faced to try to succeed. People will only see, focus, and judge on the end result.
But, I know and feel all my process, progress, pains, practice, and perseverance to my struggles. Because of and for all of this, I already feel like my dream to fly will come true. I already feel like my dream of flying is coming true.
Have you ever wanted a superpower and what would it be? Have you ever wanted something so bad that it hurt because of the struggle of mind vs. body and idealism vs. realism? What have you wanted and worked so hard at behind closed doors that you wished people could see and understand your fight and not just the final performance out in an open crowd?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,