Changes/The Last One

It has been a while since I last wrote something for this blog, the reasons for which are many. I became discouraged that I was not reaching anyone, because honestly it appeared as though no one was reading what I wrote; to include people who seemed excited about this idea at first. I also discovered that I had developed a gluten intolerance and a Vitamin D deficiency, this was after months of not feeling well. Add in a demanding bachelors degree, family time, an epic summer European travel, and moving back to the states; and my year has been quite full.

Today I felt the need to add one more post to this blog, because so much has changed since the last post; which was written shortly after seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the post I wrote about Anakin’s lightsaber making a cameo, Kylo Ren’s intentions, and Anakin’s possible appearance in the new Star Wars movie, expected to hit theaters next summer. My main concern being that Anakin’s legacy will dealt with properly, not to mention his true character. I have not thought about Anakin much sense then, aside of a occasional find on Pinterest; but he is and will always be my favorite hero, followed closely by Killian “Captain Hook” Jones, William Barret Travis (the commander of the Alamo), and Bucky “The Winter Soldier” Barnes.

I have learned a great deal about myself over these past few months, the “ins and outs” of my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses; and how I can use this information to better myself. And most importantly to be okay with what makes me, me. This is something I have struggled with on a regular basis, I sell myself short, I hold back when I should have said/done something; and I have a hard time making friends, or at least I think I do. Which of course makes our recent move from Germany to New York that much more difficult. I long for our routine, the sense of belonging, the feeling of being settled, being familiar to people, and people being familiar to me. Perhaps this is why I have focused so much on bettering myself, because me is something that I can always take with…well…me.

What does this have to with Anakin you my ask? Honestly I am not sure. Anakin had struggles, he felt lonely, disconnected, and probably felt as though “normal” was always just out of his reach. Moving half way around the world, having 1 out of every 4 or 5 things go wrong, and having a “to-do” list a mile long, can feel a bit like chaos. But the good news is that, the place where we felt settled, the place that provided the belonging that we so long for; was once where we felt lonely, disconnected, and unfamiliar. Yes it takes time, but this new house will one day soon be home. The old saying, “this to shall pass”, is full of so much truth. The tunnel may be long, but the light is always there.

I have written nearly 30 posts for this blog over the past 3 years, I feel that it is time to say that this will be the last one. I hope that you have been inspired, encouraged, and blessed. I hope that you have spoken against your own doubts and fears, that you have quelled your own anger, and perhaps tried to become a little more patient. Along with Star Wars, I have written about, Killian Jones from Once Upon A Time, Spiderman, the ending to How I Meet Your Mother, Texas history, and our own family’s adventures/mishaps. I have enjoyed finding little bits of wisdom and nuggets of truth, in these real and fictional stories. I hope that you will be encouraged to look to your favorite heroes, movies, historical accounts, or right in your own backyard, and find what speaks to you.

May you be blessed, happy, and healthy. Thank you for reading!

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Travis and Skywalker

I know what you may be thinking having read the title and now wondering just what in the world this post is about. Well the post is about heroes, all the many characteristics that makes someone a hero and one very important thing that is not required, perfection. We, as a society, place our heroes on rather high pedestal expecting to hear/read that they always made the right choices or led a completely admirable life. But the truth is, that’s not true.

William Barret Travis and Anakin Skywalker don’t have much a common, obviously one is a historical figure and the other a fictional character. Travis fought with wits and rifle, Anakin with the force and a lightsaber. But they were both heroes and, they were both flawed. They both led lives that made many people believe that they are not what heroes are made of. Travis was a man who well…would have had quite a few notches carved on his dashboard. He abandoned his wife in Alabama, he was hot headed and to quote Jason Patric’s Jim Bowie from the 2004 Alamo movie, a “two-bit dandy”. Yet he still had with in him the makings of a hero, a guy whose sacrifice inspired an entire army and who now has lakes, counties, schools, and streets named in his honor. H.W. Brand writes in his book Lone Star Nation about when Travis changed, “As the burden of command fell on Travis, he grew into his authority in a way that must have surprised those who had known him chiefly as a bellicose young buck. He had been glib; now he became eloquent. He had been headstrong; now he was heroic.” It is difficult to image what it must have been like for Travis to shoulder all this responsibility, after all he was only 26 years old when he died.

Anakin also had a lot put on his shoulders at a young age, he was 23 maybe 24 when he became Darth Vader. Anakin also led a life that wasn’t always heroic, he was prideful and struggled with patience, anger, and doubt. Also like Travis not many would have guessed that Anakin would have risen to the challenge at his own moment of truth. Both Travis and Anakin died shortly after their moment of heroism, Travis about a week later and Anakin, only lived for a few minutes. It is important to remember that heroes are people, just like everyone else, and they make mistakes, just like everyone else. Heroes have the courage to make the right decisions at the right time, and that is what matters most. I am not saying that we should “sugar coat” the life of a hero because that does both them and us a disservice, but rather accept the whole person.

There is a song by the band Third Day called “Born Again” and the very beginning of the song I think describes what the moment of heroism maybe felt like to these men. “Well today I found myself after searching all these years, and the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be.” Travis came to Texas to find work as a lawyer and run away from his debts. Anakin turned to the dark side of force in search of power and recognition. Yet both men grew and changed a short period of time and found their identity.

A Bible verse that is hugely popular when speaking of heroes is John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Now this is something that both Anakin and Travis did. Anakin for Luke (and the galaxy) and Travis for all Texans, who were living at the time and those yet to come.

To all heroes past, present and future, thank you.