Because I have the movie-watching habits of a geeky, adolescent boy, a lot of the films I watch revolve around aliens, wizards, warriors and superheroes from somewhere out there with far-fetched powers. So, I found myself at Thor: Ragnarok over the holiday.
I joyfully slip right into these stories rarely questioning the premise and it doesn’t even occur to me that this isn’t a very grown-up thing to do until I find myself in line with twelve-year old boys to get a Thor ticket.
Some of them gave me a questioning look, but I wasn’t about to kiss up by telling them I, too, own Marvel comics t-shirts or that my BFF and I filmed a Wonder Woman video this summer. So, I smiled and nodded, feeling silent acceptance.
And together we sat mesmerized through the two-hour movie, as Thor, The God of Thunder, and his band of allies saved his people from his hardened, psycho sister Hela, The Goddess of Death.
I know, I know, nerd stuff, but my day was made.
The hero’s journey itself is a timeless draw, no matter the form. It’s inspiring to witness fictional or real-life heroes because the thing is that is the undercurrent of all of our lives. Facing fear, conquering obstacles, transforming.
It is the reason we take two heart-swelling success stories to warm up to daunting news headlines. We want to hear about winning first. That dad who pushed a car off his kid. The couple with two Down syndrome kids who opened a North Carolina coffee shop and hired forty people with disabilities. The nine-year old who runs a charity that makes toiletry bags for homeless women. The former welfare mom who wrote about the wizards and goblins that turned into the best-selling book series of the century. And such.
Sure, the Thor movie was the hero’s journey to the nth degree. The costumes, special effects, epic fights and flying through time and space—plus, a surprise appearance by Hulk—kept me on the edge of my seat.
And also there was this line from Thor that reminded me how I want to be on the edge of my seat more in real life too.
“I make huge mistakes all the time, but everything seems to work out.”
It made me think about all the mistakes I’ve made and how I still keep trying to figure things out, overcome challenges and be my own hero.
I am not a wizard, but I do believe in practical magic. Purpose + hard work + creativity + faith.
I have no superpowers unless you count the addictive tenacity to hold onto a vision of what I want until I bring the thing to life and to turn an ordinary outing into a little story that might make at least one other person think about gearing up for their next hero’s journey.