Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Legends of Tomorrow Means to Me

Los Angeles
(This is going to be more of a personal post; just FYI.)

I may have to end this blog, so I thought I'd leave with as honest of a post as I can.

2016 has been utter crap. I know a lot of people are feeling this way, too, now, what with "Brexit" in the UK and the whole circus act that is the US presidential election. With the horror of black lives taken by police, and the tension that's risen with it. It feels like the world is going to hell. 

For me, personally, it's felt like that for awhile.

I won't spend this whole post complaining; I know no one wants to read that. But just to summarize my year thus far: in March, my grandma on my dad's side died; I found out in April that a friend I knew in college committed suicide; and in May my grandma on my mom's side died, suddenly, from an accident. I think you'll understand that I was terrified the whole month of June, sick with the thought that someone else I loved was going to die, and I could only breathe again when July 1 finally came.

The fear still hasn't gone, though; it's there with me now, every day. I don't think it would surprise anyone that I was officially diagnosed soon after with severe anxiety and moderate depression. The anxiety I've had most of my life; the depression, though, is a more recent development, mainly from (what I've perceived) as failure after failure, and grief. It will hit, like earthquake tremors, on random days. Sometimes I can forget it's there; most of the time I lie in fear, waiting for it to hit and afraid for when it will, hating that this is something I have to be afraid of at all. 

What gave me hope, on gray days when I couldn't feel anything, and on black days when everything hurt, as silly as it sounds, was Legends of Tomorrow.

I never really liked the idea of escapism; I don't want to be the kind of person who runs away from their problems. But when the entire world surrounding you just hurts, when there is no escape - well, I found a precious piece of joy in this amazing, bizarre, ridiculous, fantastic, absolutely wonderful show.

Sara Lance
Like I said, fear has become a constricting hold on my life. When I wake up in the morning, I have a fleeting second of relief before all the things that terrify me rush into my head - money, job, my future, health, dating, etc. I wake up scared, and I hate it.

Sara Lance is what fearlessness looks like. She is completely confident in who she is and what she can do, and she takes no crap from anyone. She is also brave enough to love people for who they are, and I think that's the most fearless thing anyone can do.

If there's anyone I want to be, it's Sara Lance. I have her White Canary symbol on my phone case; it seems like a small thing, but it means I have a constant reminder to be like her. She reminds me to be fearless; even if on a lot of days I fail, I know I can keep trying. And maybe one day I'll suddenly realize the fear is gone; I'll be like Sara Lance as the White Canary, free to enjoy life and unafraid of anything.

Leonard Snart
Another character I love quite possibly as much as Sara Lance is Leonard Snart. His intelligence, his ability to make a snarky comment about any situation - but mainly his heart. 

I never thought I'd have a hard time trusting people; if anything, I've been too trusting in the past. You become a pseudo-adult and suddenly it's harder to keep in touch with people, or find time to see each other in either of your busy schedules - time passes, and you wonder how many real friends you have left.

Snart makes me believe that I can keep my faith in people, even when I feel alone. Watching him grow from a selfish a**hole to someone so protective of the team and so genuinely in love with Sara - well, it makes me want to trust people again. Because people are capable of so much. They have so much potential. And I want to see that play out, for them to become their best selves. I want to see that from myself, too.

(Also, I want to mention the actor who plays Leonard Snart, Wentworth Miller, is a huge advocate of mental health and self-care, and is quite possibly one of the loveliest people on earth, with a gentle soul and a kind heart. Thank you, Wentworth - your self-care month on your Facebook page got me through April. Thank you so, so much.)

Of course, there's so much else to love about a show about time traveling superheroes and villains. What it really gave me was an hour of wonderful insanity every week away from everything around me - and I cherished it. I could laugh myself silly at Mick growling lines like "I love the 70's!", cheer obnoxiously whenever Sara kicked butt (which she does quite often and very well), and seriously just enjoy the crap out of something so crazy and fun and wonderful. This show saved me. I know it sounds silly, but it gave me joy. After an episode was over, it was back to the real world, but at least for the rest of that day, I felt a little lighter.

Now, about the picture at the beginning: I am a screenwriter. I'm aiming to be a TV writer, however long or however much that takes. Los Angeles is where I need to go to make that happen.

And I am terrified.

This is nothing new. I'm not the first person to relocate there from however-many miles away; but right now I don't know where I'm going to work or where I'm going to live. Or if I'm even going to succeed. I could completely fail. 

Anxiety/depression isn't a big help in this, either (if that's not obvious enough already).

I know I want to write, someday, for Legends of Tomorrow. Maybe even The Flash. Supergirl, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and, eventually, if I'm really and truly blessed by the universe, Doctor Who. I want to inspire people; I want to give them hope, like Legends of Tomorrow did for me. 

I'm no one special; I just hope that one day I can be successful enough to write a show that gives people hope. Because it's something I needed. I think it's something everyone needs. To be reminded of the good things in the world, and of the good people who are in it.

Those are the true legends.