Travis Dickinson |

Travis Dickinson

San Mateo, CA


Growing up, I watched a lot of Saturday morning cartoons. At a young age your mind doesn't go past the big booms and action. We just enjoyed the thrill of in the moment type of corny one liners or fights between villains and heroes. But looking back now at 34 years old, a lot of things we saw for what they are are more complex in meaning than what they are portrayed as. For example x-men, a school and group of mutants, shunned by society and social norms, is not just about injustice for mutants. No, my brain took it further than that. I have adhd ocd tourettes and anxiety. All the great stuff mixed in a cocktail of emotional distress. If I were to seperate all those individually into an individuals trait's, it wouldn't be hard to believe that it can be looked at as unique. The mutants in x-men are akin to those of us with mental illness. Yes I compared X-men to mental illness. Think about it. The stigma on mental illness is strong. Yet people see it as a gift as a positive like the mutants in X-men. They don't know why they have it or feel they shouldn't but they embrace it. And it's what makes them unique, except it being super powers. There have been x-men stories about the mutants against normal society and I won't take mental illness that far, as if we fight physically against people who judge us. But I will say metaphorically it's the same idea. We just want a place in the world. Be seen as normal or just a part of society and that we have gifts that can be positive. The downsides of mental illness unfortunately is stronger than the good it provides an individual. Which is why I'm x-men even though they save people and do good they're still seen as an abomination or a menace. People with adhd have the hyper focus and extreme willpower to excel at what they love. The ceo of JetBlue has adhd, and basically can do everything he loves, manage a huge multibillion dollar business, yet can pay bills withouts help, or daily tasks such as laundry. Tim Howard, the goalie of the us soccer team is one of the if not the best goalie in pro soccer and that's thanks to his undoubted fast reflexes due to his Tourette's. He can react so fast and block any shot. Something seen so negatively, can make you the best. OCD will help you in interior design, engineering, things with organization. Yet it is hell to live with on its own. There's always a positive and negative in everything and like the x-men and how society views them, we need to stand up ourselves and be better and accept and understand mental illness instead of cast them down. We're depriving ourselves of a better more productive future the more we discourage these talents. Hell if X-men didn't exist the world would be a much boring place. And I'd rather be like an x-men than nothing at all.