Be the Star You Are

I love the movie Stardust. It makes me feel like a child all over again. It makes me feel excited and scared for just a moment at parts because I don’t know the fairytale story well enough to tell it by heart yet. It still feels new, but I always know I will be safe and happy and in the end even happier than I am watching The Princess Bride because I get to grow with the main characters and fall in love with them for the first time, instead of seeing that True Love can survive anything, simply because it’s True Love.

Tristan and Evanne start out as two people who are not what the other is looking for, exactly. Well, Evanne is the star that Tristan was looking for, but he doesn’t realize that she’s his True Love until later.
Tristan and Evaine’s lovestory is special to me because they deal with many of the challenges that people with Multiple Sclerosis and/or Seizure Disorder deal with all the time.

• After she falls from the sky, she has a hard time walking, because she’s hurt her leg, while he’s got his full health.
• She’s up at night, and sleepy all day, while he has energy during the day, and is sleepy at night.
• There are just certain places she can’t go. (Evaine can’t go to Wall because she’ll turn to rock. When you have MS and Seizure Disorder, certain activities, like raves, keg parties, 10 mile desert hikes, exploring tide pools just aren’t wise.)

But for all of those difficulties, there are benefits to Evaine being a star… It is her very nature that allows her and Tristan to defeat the evil witch at the end, and it certainly does not hurt that immortality belongs to anyone who holds the heart of a star, though it is what causes her to be put in peril to begin with.

The difficulties which mirror those of MS and seizure disorder don’t change the fact that it is through his love of Evaine that Tristan fulfills his destiny, becoming the man he was always meant to be – not a shopboy, but the strong, wise, powerful, swashbuckling King of all of Stormhold. If anything, dealing with those difficulties is part of what builds their relationship, increases his wisdom, and shows him to be worthy of being a king.

First, Tristan objectifies Evaine by putting her in magical chains and pulling her with him, as if she were just a thing. That gets him nowhere with her. (Why would it? No one likes to be treated that way.) It is only when Tristan seeks to protect Evaine from harm by using his Babylon candle that the game starts to change.

They grow to love one another because of the way they choose to treat one another when in a bad situation.

Once they are tied up in the Lightning Pirate’s brig, they keep their humor about them. They are kind to one another. Even in the face of potential death, Evaine thanks Tristan for saving her life and asks to hear about the girl she was kidnapped for. They pass the time with banter about love and life. They are friendly to each other when they *could* have been fighting.

Successful couples who have to deal with chronic illness already know that when you are dealing with situations that are bad and that you cannot control (Hey, your hands are tied!), there is only one way to get through the situation well: with humor and kindness and as much patience for the situation and for each other as you each can muster, remembering that talking about anything aside from the situation will make it easier to forget what else is going on.

I would go so far to say that this way of relating goes beyond couples who have to deal with chronic illness and even goes to couples in general. Couples who have the added challenges that come with chronic illness just happen to find themselves in situations that are less optimal more often.
Speaking of “less optimal” situations…

Last weekend was kind of tough for me – but things are finally pointing towards good.

Adam and I have been moving out of the icky, old, mold-filled apartment in Burbank and into a new one in Glendale, which is *wonderful*!

It has been so hard for me to let Adam do the bulk of the physical labor between the two of us.

I remember years and years of being an orchestral percussionist and on the drumline in marching band when I used to write in my journals, “’percussionist’ apparently means made for manual labor.” I used to be so annoyed being one of the only girls who was forced to help set up stages all the time, pack the band truck daily, and move things ALL. THE. TIME. , but eventually it became a thing of pride. I didn’t realize how over the years, I had become the “tough-guy” girl. So the whole move has felt really wrong, and really shameful, despite how hard I’ve worked during the times I’ve been able to work.

Emotionally speaking, I’ve been a wreck. I begged not once, but twice, publicly on Facebook for friends to help me move and not *one* single friend of mine volunteered. The two people who helped us were both friends of Adam who he talked into helping us.

BUT – at least we are *finally* in our awesome new apartment, so I’m not going to dwell on anything for too long. Instead, I’m going to focus on the positive! ANTHONY AND KEVIN TOTALLY ROCK MY SOCKS OFF!!!!!!! THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!

In all seriousness, there’s been a theme of “spreading the love” or “spreading the hate” via manners and rudeness that I’ve seen via articles and radio and TV recently. I’ve always been big on spreading kindness, but it’s all throughout the fairytale too. Love builds love.

Once Tristan is on the ship as Captain Shakespeare’s “nephew,” there are shots of him feeding her at dinner, working with her on the crew, and even dancing with her.

Evaine remembers, after they’ve gotten off the ship, that they won’t make it to Wall soon enough for Victoria’s birthday. It’s actually important to her to be there because Tristan’s plans and his happiness are important to her, even if she’s been falling in love with him.

She protects him in Ditchwater Sal’s wagon and shows him the kindness of giving him cheese while he’s a mouse, and proclaims her love while he’s at his weakest.

I know that I tell Adam all the time how much I appreciate all the driving he does and how he’s doing damn near all the physical labor, but it’s nice to have a reminder of how important the little things are.

He shows me every day, in so many little ways, that he loves me, and while I do my best to always say thank you, I don’t know that I can ever show it enough back to him other than by just continuing to be myself in the hopes that one day, by being myself, I will shine through, like Evaine, and somehow save the day – or that by loving me, the way that I am, it will help him to become the man he has always been destined to be.

When I’m hurting, he’s always there to turn on my vaporizer for me or to stroke my hair and hold me, and tell me he’s there for me. When I have seizures, “You’re safe, baby.” are the first words out of his mouth. I can’t possibly count the number of times he’s caught me before I hit the ground from falling. I can’t count the number of meals that he’s cooked for me, the number of doctors’ appointments he’s gone to with me or taken me to, or even the number of chick flicks he’s watched simply to make me smile because he knew everything else felt bad.

Do I romanticize our relationship when I say that I think of him as better than any Tristan or any Westley because he’s real? 🙂 I certainly give him enough shit in real life, when he doesn’t deserve it at all, that I ought to be allowed to be lovely to him in media, where he deserves it entirely.

October 3rd can’t come fast enough for me. I cannot wait to be his wife.

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