BHS Blogress Report: 2019, Week 44 – Essential Work

Week 44 – Essential Work
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong about being honest about things that are painful and hard. I don’t want to suffer in silence; I want everyone else who hurts in this profoundly important way to know that they’re not alone.”
The line above comes from a blog posted today by Nathan Rabin. It jumped out at me shortly before I started this entry. Nathan Rabin is a fantastic writer, in my opinion one of the finest film and media critics in the world, and I’ve been following his work for years. I’ve grown to respect and admire him even more since he began writing candidly of his struggles with depression and feelings of failure, subjects I’m all too familiar with. The blog entry in question concerns Mark Twain, and how his chronic inability to manage his money contributed to his greatness as an American author and humorist.
Rabin’s words reminded me of my favorite lines from Steven Universe: “You have to be honest about how bad it feels, so you can move on!” That’s something tremendously important, which doesn’t get said enough in today’s society… we’re told to “tough it out” and “keep a stiff upper lip” and “always look on the bright side” over and over again. Revisiting SU with Ninty is giving me a renewed appreciation, not just for how good the show is, but how essential its messages are: all types of people are beautiful and valid. Loving yourself is just as important as loving others. Empathy and compassion can be superpowers.
I may not always be the best at following the advice and lessons that the show dispenses, but I feel with absolute certainty that I’m a better person for watching it, that the series has had a positive impact on my life and my growth as a person. So in that spirit, I’ll be honest here: I don’t love myself, and I haven’t loved myself for many years now. Part of that is depression, and part of that is the result of a life that hasn’t turned out the way I wanted or expected. There’s been a lot of pain, physical and emotional, and a lot of regrets over mistakes I’ve made. I’m not, generally speaking, a happy person… but one of Steven Universe’s greatest gifts and greatest messages to me is this: change is possible. It’s given me the hope that someday, maybe, I can change and learn to love myself again. I’m a flawed person, but so is everyone. Those flaws will never really go away, but maybe I can learn to accept them as part of who I am and grow from there.
It’s enormously profound stuff for what’s seen as a children’s show… but as I said to Ninty, part of the secret of Steven Universe’s genius is that it’s not written like a children’s show. It has a raw emotional honesty and complexity that many if not most so-called “adult” media lack, and it’s tackled issues no other series will touch with unparalleled skill and sensitivity. Rebecca Sugar and her cast and crew do essential work. So does Nathan Rabin, in his own unique way. And maybe, in my own way, so do I.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: BHS Belated Blogress Report: 2019, Week 43 – It’s a Pun on “Feelin’ Good” | Tasakeru
  2. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2019, Weeks 45 and 46 – Room for RWBY | Tasakeru

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