Unexpected Superhero

My mom always knew I was a superhero.


My mom sent this card to me during my first year at Rice. And then again in this version during my first year “in the real world.”

In the past month, I’ve begun to believe it.

The new year has been hard on me. A future I thought had been laid out at the end of 2016 blew up in numerous ways. You know what they say about the best laid plans…

My word of the year SERENITY sure is coming in handy.

It’s been difficult to put into words because I don’t usually post about my personal life on the interwebs. At least not in straight-forward ways. I’m not a big fan of navel-gazing, bemoaning my lot in life and all the obstacles I’m fighting against. That doesn’t help anyone–least of all myself.

Those obstacles–my vulnerabilities and fears–are indeed what make me a superhero.

I can tell you about the many ways that I’m keeping busy, making art, climbing mountains, WRITING UP A STORM on Transmission, grieving and burying the broken parts of my heart. Or I can show you.

Hercinia Art Collective’s April 29th Arts Party brings you…



Massey Ahmar, Maggie Sulc, and Caroline Sawyer (left to right) in ZOMBIES OR SNORING?

Jim and Olivia are settling in for the night. Or at least, that’s what Jim would like to do. Olivia would love to turn off her night terrors and drift off just like her new boyfriend.

But something won’t let her nod off… could there really be something sinister that only she can sense?

This fifteen-minute radio drama flips the narrative on the dumb blonde girl screaming away at that zombie movie. Cute horror, as some Toronto playwrights have called it. That’s my style.

I felt bad for a milli-second casting my co-worker in the male role. Why? Because there’s not much to him besides snoring. In fact, looking back at my plays, most of the male characters look pretty weak and act weak for large portions, if not the entirety, of their stories.

This is not because I dislike men. I’m not a raging feminist trying to twist them all into evil privileged impotent dudes. I didn’t even realize I had this habit until after last Saturday’s reading of Zombies or Snoring? It’s just that the stories I choose to write revolve around strong women finding their power and facing their fears.

Personally haven’t found as many men who are willing to do the same: admit to their fears, ask for help, and then face them. Or maybe I’m not willing to slow down my journey to walk them through it.

I’m still hurting. It may not look like it, but that’s because I see no reason why I can’t grieve and continue building the future I want for myself at the same time.

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway?

Like I said, that’s what makes me a superhero.

About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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1 Response to Unexpected Superhero

  1. Nancy Sulc says:

    You are a Superhero! Funny how the advice and words I send to you can sometimes me a mirror for myself!

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