There are certain films that come along where you can identify with specific qualities or themes of a character or a situation. Included are those kinds of movies that affect you personally, whether it involves a disability, a death of a family member or relative, or a triumph of the underdog, to name a few. A movie I watched recently was Adam, a film that not many people saw in 2009. It stars Hugh Dancy (Confessions of a Shopoholic, Ella Enchanted) and Rose Byrne (TV's Damages, Knowing) as a twentysomething man with Aspergers Syndrome and a young teacher who moves in next door to him. The story chronicles the growing relationship and struggles between these two completely different characters as well as the lessons they learn from each other along the way. The latter even questions her role in this man's life, uncertain if a relationship will work between them.
Here is a trailer for the film to give you an idea.
Watching the film, I couldn't help recalling personal struggles I had growing up in school. Many of you don't know this, but I, as well, have Asperger's Syndrome. I was diagnosed at age three. Before I go any further, I should mention that Aspergers (for those of you unfamiliar with it) is a form of autism that consists of high-functioning abilities but a lack of communication skills. I used to think I was the dumbest kid in my class, growing up in elementary school. During my sophomore year in high school, I found out about my condition while playing on my family's Quiz Wiz handheld game. I also recall my mother telling me that, when I was younger, she thought that I wouldn't be able to communicate with anybody.
Like I said, I haven't shared this with a lot of people, but to those I have, I had mentioned that it has hardly affected me since I started going to college. And since then, I have learned that it is not (and should not be) the disability, or whatever type of handicap or disadvantage, that defines us. It is the spirit of the person. It is who they were created to be. I have also come to value uniqueness, as well as creativity and honesty, which are very important qualities to live by.
I do have occassional struggles and blame my condition at times, I'll admit. One thing that helps me, though, is remembering where I'm at right now, how far I've come, and the hope I have for tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and so forth. Recently, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor of Arts degree. So that's something to be proud of. In addition, there are other movies that inspire me and give me hope regarding character and purpose. Some of these films include Forrest Gump, which I look at as a story of a mentally challenged man whom no one saw any greatness in, yet goes on to do so many extraordinary things in life. Another is Up, a poignant and bittersweet story about an elderly man who learns about the important things in life, as well as the notion of letting dreams go. And another is Chariots of Fire, a compelling true story about two 1920s Olympic runners with completely different motivations but worthwhile stories.
As you can see, movies are one of my strong suits. As much as they have the power to entertain, they also have the power to enlighten, to inspire, and to show us glimpses of ourselves, of our lives, and of the world. They can even suggest the promise of a greater life and a greater future for us. And I hope that with my story (at least, with what I've written here), I have inspired and enlightened some of you, and have hopefully shown you that there is value and life in every human being, regardless of any disability or disadvantage they may have.
If there's anything else that any of you would lime to know about me that you don't know, don't hesistate to ask.
The following is a song that was featured in the closing creditis of the movie Adam. I posted it on here because, for one thing, it recalls a status update I posted on Facebook last week regarding said valuing of people. It's called "Somebody Loved" by the Weepies. It has a beautiful and poignant melody. Enjoy.