Many of us have felt moments similar to our feet collapsing through the floor, when our stomachs decide to become gymnasts inside of us and where we suddenly are at a loss for words. None of these feelings can accurately describe how I feel knowing my childhood hero is no longer with us on Earth.
When I was growing up, reflecting to both my adolescent and teenage years, I had many days of unexplainable pain. This kind of pain came out of no where and had its own agenda of where it would reside for an x amount of time. There were days I never felt like I’d get better, and there were days that I couldn’t believe I could feel sick at all. I was fortunate to receive the control needed to maintain a relatively normal life, but the man who made me laugh during those sick days from school dealt with something purely indescribable, practically unbearable, with a mask on his face that resembled pure happiness.
Robin Williams taught me how to be strong, how to smile and how to be optimistic about tomorrow during the most difficult times of my life. I never knew of his depression, but I want to say my obliviousness stemmed from his ability to make the sun shine through every window of every room he stood in. The shadows of my room were filled with terrifying and confusing events; the times I couldn’t eat when all I felt was extreme hunger, the moments when I would wake up and my clothes no longer fit because I lost 10 lbs within 48 hours and the year-long avoidance of full length mirrors because the image reflecting back at me, of my clothes draping my frail body, broke me down. Everything turned against me and I couldn’t understand why my life changed overnight. The last thing I would think about is a sunny day without a stomach ache.
But then I would remember this –
A father would dress up as a woman, call himself Mrs. Doubtfire, learn an immense amount of technique within a week and hold a lifetime of reality back all for the sole purpose to be with his children, the ones he called his entire world. Here’s what this movie taught me: A person who loses everything for a moment can either sit in the tragic wading pool, wishing for a better day ahead or that person can get up and make something out of the situation to assure it will get better. Robin Williams got me out of bed, made me face my fears and recognize the person holding the power was myself. My attitude about everything I was enduring would be my true medication, not the pills and change of diet alone. And you know what, I’ve been healthy because of it and now have the courage to put myself out there not just as a blogger, but as a representative of what used to scare me the most – clothing.
I call myself an optimist and this blog To Be Bright because the power of positivity instilled by Robin Williams changed my life. The person who can put a smile on during the darkest times of his or her life is the strongest type of individual. Everyone you meet has or is facing some sort of battle and unfortunately, the ones who appear the happiest often hold the most within. The death of my childhood and present-day hero has shaken me to the core, and it’s safe to say anyone else who saw him as another guiding father figure might feel this way as well.
Robin Williams’ loss has hit home, like the death of a family member and will forever be imprinted in my mind. But I have to thank him for more than the past, for his tragic passing has given me the courage to write this unbelievably personal post for the online world to potentially come across. There are few things I am afraid of now because the nature of his character, both on and off screen, metaphorically held my hand when no one else could.
If there is anything you should take away from this, let it be that you hold the power to change your life. Some of us realize this on our own, without the conscious or subconscious guidance of another, but many of us fail to recognize our true potential when devastation arrives. Whether it be a poor grade on a test, a consequential mistake in a social situation or an unlucky draw of a painful diagnosis, every situation holds the same amount of importance. What seems small to some might be another’s entire world and the more open the mind is to hope and change, the more likely our days will become permanently better.
The world has lost one of the most talented and life-changing individuals today. Thank you for everything you have helped me with and for changing my life in the most impactful way. Rest in forever blissful peace, Robin Williams.