Monday, May 23, 2016

Storytelling: The Love of My Life (or What I Learned While I Had Cancer)

So during this past semester of school I had cancer. It was thyroid cancer. Not "just thyroid cancer" either. It was kind of Hell and I'm sick of people belittling my cancer by calling it "just thyroid cancer" or "the good cancer." It's not. Thyroid cancer is still cancer and while the kind I had (follicular) may not have been the worst it wasn't even the "best thyroid cancer" let alone the "best kind of cancer to get." Yet these were the sort of things that people, even doctors, had the audacity to tell me. My cancer sucked just as much as anyone's cancer sucks. Now that I've gotten that prelude to my story out of the way I'd like to talk about what I came here to talk about. Because my cancer sucked I had literally zero energy. I couldn't even bring myself to read unless I absolutely had to for school (yes I continued to attend school while I had cancer that made my brain go all fuzzy and still got a 4.0) and even then sometimes I listened to audiobooks instead. If you know me then you know that this is the ultimate devastation for me. Reading has probably been my favorite past time since I was about four years old. I also tried to write while I was sick but I had about the same luck with that as I did with reading.

Luckily, however, while I couldn't bring myself to power through reading or writing for enjoyment I could manage to watch TV. The TV shows I watched quickly became the light of my life. Every week I looked forward to and counted on Supernatural and The Walking Dead to bring some joy to those dark days. In between episodes of Supernatural and The Walking Dead what got me through tough times was Season Two of Marvel's Daredevil. Little did I know that these shows would help me past more than just this bout of cancer. Watching these shows along with another experience I had when I was just starting to finally get better made me realize what my ultimate goal in life is.

A little over a week ago I went to the Motor City Comic Con (this was the aforementioned experience in the paragraph prior) and was so grateful to be able to thank people involved with all three of these shows. I was able to tell them that they had been a part of something that helped me through one of the worst parts of my life. One of these people I had the pleasure to meet was Robbie Thompson, writer for Supernatural and the Silk comic book series. I also went to Robbie's panel and hearing him talk about writing for television really inspired me.

You see, I'm an English major but I only became an English major halfway through my Sophomore year of college (right before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer). I used to be a theatre major until I realized something major. (Haha puns!) I realized that what I love about theatre is getting the chance to help bring stories to life. After thinking on this for a long time I decided that I didn't just want to help bring stories to life. I wanted to create stories. I didn't know just what kind of stories I wanted to create or even what kinds of mediums I wanted to create them for but I knew that I needed to write. I figured that until I knew otherwise I could just write books and short stories because that was something I knew.

Now I know different though. I know that I do want to write books and short stories at some point because books are where my love of stories started but my ultimate dream job is to write for television. Television is a much more universal medium even than books and is something that almost everyone can experience no matter their age, ability, wellness, gender, or race. Some TV shows can be all that someone needs to get through life and writing for TV is something I think I would be really good at. Writing for TV also provide the opportunity to both create a story and be a part of it being brought to life. Two things I love. (You may ask why not write for theatre? I'm just not drawn to playwriting. I couldn't tell you why.) Cancer sucked but I'm really glad that cancer, TV, Motor City Comic Con 2016, and Robbie Thompson made me realize what I want to be when I grow up (or if  that never happens - Because who wants to grow up? - then whenever I get out of school and need a new goal to start working toward).

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any TV show logos used in this post.

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