Ever since I was younger I knew I was different from most girls I met. I always had this strange obsession with superheroes. Instead of playing with the dolls my mom had bought me, I'd want to play with my little brother's action figures instead.
I watched every superhero movie and television show out there, even the really bad ones. I've loved reading DC and Marvel comic books and it was great to grow up with them. Sometimes people questioned how much of a fan I was and if I truly "knew" what I was talking about, but when I speak my knowledge of any and everything superhero; there are no doubts.
I remember religiously watching X-Men on Saturdays with my uncle, we'd sit on the couch and eat breakfast to the cartoons. Superhero culture had been something I started to resonate with myself deeply. I liked the idea of having these people who could change the world.
People with extraordinary abilities using their powers for good. I always wished we had heroes among us. I remember wishing that every day because superheroes gave me hope.
When everything seemed to be going wrong in the world, I used to dream of a superhero swooping in and saving the day. Although it seems impossible to some people; I love and cherish both Marvel and D.C. comics equally, they both have different strengths.
I have a long list of D.C characters that I love, whether they are original justice league members or not. The first I will mention is Batman, and that's because I feel like everyone at one point goes through their Batman faze. It's where Batman is your favorite superhero and you just know the most about him.
To be honest I know a lot of people who know nothing about the comic book universe and they can at least identify Batman and Superman. There are so many different versions of Batman and they can range from Batman Brave and the Bold to The Dark Knight Rises. What I take from Batman I actually learned from Batman Begins: "Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share. That's why it's so important. It separates us from them".
Batman was one of the first heroes I was introduced to who had a tragic backstory, and even with it he still tried to better his community. Batman helped me humble myself at a young age to be level-headed about situations, even though sometimes I do forget.
Another one of my favorites is Wonder Woman, she always made me feel strong and independent. She lives on an Island (Themyscira) with fierce women who can protect themselves and need no man to save them.
Wonder Woman always fought for those who couldn't fight for themselves. A quote that Wonder Woman has taught and made me think of a lot is actually not one she herself said. It was something General Antiope was trying to teach her, "Never let your guard down. You expect the battle to be fair". I know that they are talking in the actual sense of battling and fighting, but I relate that quote to my everyday.
Besides Wonder Woman and Batman, I would like to mention Green Arrow and all the Flashes. The Flash family are a group of my favorite superheroes, I love the fact that their power is super speed.
Since I love the Flash so much my mom took me to meet John Wesley Shipp: he played the flash on TV when she was a kid and he plays Jay Garrick in The Flat TV show now. He was a superhero to me, I saw him on the screen every week for only one day, but it felt like longer.
I remember when I met him I was shaking because of how nervous I was. Here I was at 17 meeting a real-life superhero. I one hundred percent had a freak out when he hugged me and I could barely form sentences. I know that's because part of me will always have a soft spot for superheroes and the hope they bring.
I think superheroes are important because they give hope, but they also teach lessons. Whether the lesson is intentional or not it is received by someone. Superheroes make me want to never stop fighting for what's right.
Sometimes fighting for what's right can be difficult, but nothing great in life came easy. "Are you gonna do over every time you make a mistake or are you going to live with them and move forward?", Jay Garrick said that and he makes it clear; even heroes make mistakes.
Since there aren't any spandex-wearing superheroes with X-ray vision in this world, I know that we have to fight ourselves and the mistakes we make along the way will be worth it.