Posts Tagged ‘SuperWoman’

My Superwoman complex

Me! I will save the day! I can do it! Me! I’ll fix it! I’ll make it! I’ll do it! Let me!

Every so often, I see a thing/person/situation that needs fixing or helping and my mind goes into overdrive. I’m convinced that I’ll be able to fix it and save the world.

The situation will often involve me needing skills I do not currently possess. But I am not to be dissuaded! No, not me! I shall not let little things like this stop me from saving the day.

An example of this was a few years ago, when I went to the Philippines to visit a little girl called Kimberly, who I sponsor out there. The whole sponsoring thing is another Superwoman thing – I will save all the children of the world via £12 a month!

So I’m visiting Kimberly and I noticed her younger sister had a limp. The family told me that she’d been given too much medication for something when she was a baby and now the left side of her body didn’t work properly.

Inevitably, this situation brought out my Superwoman complex. I fussed over her and photographed her and generally tried to make her feel part of the gang. Then when I left, I was like, “I’m going to save her! Me! I’ll save her from her limp! I’ll fix it!”

I started making grand plans to get her seen by a paediatrician. Given that there is one nurse per five islands in that area of the Philippines, I was obviously aiming a bit high, expecting that a) there’d be a local paediatrician and b) they’d be able to drop everything and run to see her.

There are two children’s hospitals in the whole of the Philippines (which is made up of over 7,000 islands so you see the numbers are against me here) but one of them was close-ish. In my mind, I had taken her to the capital city myself, found this children’s hospital, pleaded with the doctors to do whatever you do to fix the problem (the idea that there might not be a cure was not on my radar, my Superwoman complex does not allow for ‘no’ as an answer), they had responded favourably and been like, “O yes, Laura, we will do that because you are Superwoman and we will do whatever you need us to.”

I had also found a kind soul to give us a room in their splendid mansion (people have mansions in Manila, right?) and I would stay with her until she was well again and running around all carefree and well and healthy, like her sister.

I didn’t see a flaw in my plan. There was no reason why it wouldn’t work, of course there wasn’t!

There was only, you know, the fact that I was in the middle of a university course and didn’t really have the time/money to just move to the Philippines for a while and hadn’t the proper visas or whatever to stay there for any length of time. There was also the fact that, although I had been sponsoring her sister for a little while, I was, essentially, a stranger, and how likely was it that her family would just hand her over to me to run off to another part of the country with. There was also the fact that the organisation that I sponsor her sister through would mostly be like, “Um, you know you can’t just turn up to visit your sponsor child and run off with her little sister, right?”

Instead, I did the most appropriate thing, sent an email with my concerns to the organisation, they had a nurse assess her and do a medical report and promise to keep an eye on the situation and inform me of what action they might take if it didn’t correct itself as she grew up.

This seems lovely and fabulous, this helping.

But my Superwoman complex has always been a little disappointed that I didn’t take more direct action with Kimberly’s sister.

It can kick in at anytime, this Superwoman thing. I don’t even realise it’s happening til I’m elbow deep in a toilet bowl with a rudimentary unblocker thing that I’ve made out of a wire clothes hanger, going “Don’t worry! I’ll fix it! Me! I’ve got it! I’m doing it!”

It all sounds very nice, doesn’t it? Being a superhero. Fixing things. Helping people. Saving the world.

But, boy, the disappointment that inevitably comes with the times I have bowled on in to fix something that I have no idea about and not been able to. I’m sure most people would be like, “It’s no big deal. I don’t have any skills in that so of course I couldn’t do it.”

My main issue is that in my mind, I’m like a stealthy ninja. I am capable of things people think are impossible. In the words of Team America’s Kim Jong-Il, “I’m the smartest, most crever, most physicry fit.” I can rescue people from danger, successfully operate on life-threatening brain tumours, outsmart baddies, answer every difficult question (even about things I’ve never heard of, that’s how clever I am), lift really heavy things, bake the most delicious cakes anyone has ever tasted and just generally astound and amaze those around me. I’m also beautiful in an au naturel, beach babe type of way.

I’m an eternal disappointment to myself that none of the above is true.

It doesn’t stop me doing the Superwoman thing though. And you’ll be pleased to hear that I did manage to unblock the toilet.

A letter to the world

Dear World,

How are you? What’s that? A bit messy and need some work doing? Ah. Ok. Yes. I did promise I’d help with that, didn’t I? And I did, World. I did. On Day 1, I donned my best dirty Crocs, grabbed a bag and walked around collecting rubbish. I then divided this rubbish into different recycling bins and even recycled the bag itself. On Day 2, I changed my energy supplier to a local renewable energy company. And World, I would like you to know that it was my close friend’s birthday and I sent him an electronic birthday card instead of a paper one, to save your trees.

You see, World, I had had an idea. I would do at least one good thing every day to look after you, to make life a little easier for you, to ensure your health for future generations. I was excited about looking after you. I guess it’s that maternal instinct in me. I like looking after people and things. I also like playing the SuperWoman role when I first get an idea in my head. I will do and be everyone’s hero. I will single handedly cure all of your ills. I will be the answer to every problem. It doesn’t take me long, World, before I realise that I am not capable of this. But I still think I can, every time a new idea comes along.

So Day 1 and 2 came and went, World. I had picked up litter and I had not sacrificed your trees for a birthday card. Then Day 3 came. Let me describe Day 3.

Wake up late. Meet a friend for lunch. Go a friend’s birthday party.

Day 4 looked like this. Wake up early. Work. Go for lunch with a friend. Have friends over for dinner.

Day 5 was as follows. Wake up. Go to work. All day. Come home. Eat. Watch The Tourist. Marvel at the twist at the end and wonder how much weight Johnny Depp had to put on for the film. Go to bed.

You see, World? I had resolved to do something good every day for you. And then life got in the way. But I did do small things for you, World. I turned off the tap when brushing my teeth instead of letting it run like I usually do. I used only public transport to go around seeing my many friends (I’ve got loads! Honest). For dinner, I had food that would have otherwise been thrown away. I didn’t fill the kettle with water to boil it. I only put in as much as I needed. So although Day 3, 4 and 5 rolled by in a haze of work and friends and hardly any sleep, I did a little for you, World. I did a little.

Day 6 is a new day though, World. Out will come the book of tips and out will come my lycra superhero outfit (otherwise known as my dirty purple Crocs). I will do better. There is always room for improvement, after all.

Actually, on that note, you could do with being sunnier in England, World. I’m not criticising. I’m just… You know…. I’m just saying…. You could work on that.


Yours sincerely,

Laura SuperWoman Maisey