Finding a Bit of Myself in Truman Burbank

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by Halsey Blocher |

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The Truman Show” is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again without ever growing tired of it. I long ago lost count of how many times I’ve seen it, and it’s always been a family favorite. (My mom, who introduced me to the movie, is its biggest fan.)

I always watch with great anticipation for the moments when the main character, Truman Burbank, accomplishes something that no one expected he could. By the time the final few scenes play across the screen, I’m always grinning so much my cheeks almost hurt.

(Spoiler alert: I’ll be discussing the movie’s plot.)

Over the years, I’ve come to see a bit of myself in Truman as he embarks on a new adventure at the end of the movie. His courage, resilience, and determination can’t be overlooked. These are just a few of the qualities that have also helped me navigate life and my journey with SMA.

Truman, played by Jim Carrey, has unknowingly spent his entire life as the subject of a popular TV show. Upon realizing that he’s constantly being watched and his life is a carefully crafted illusion, Truman overcomes his deep-rooted fear of water to execute a daring escape plan.

In his desperation to stop Truman from leaving, the show’s creator, Christof, launches a dangerous storm that threatens to capsize Truman’s boat and drown him. The wind tears at the sails, and waves crash over the boat. At this point, Christof no longer cares if his star lives or dies — he only cares about maintaining full control over what happens to Truman.

But even as the storm continues to escalate, Truman refuses to give up. Even when all hope seems lost, he presses on. Despite everything that tries to stop him, Truman survives and finds the door that will take him to freedom.

“In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!” With the delivery of that iconic line, Truman takes a bow, chuckles, and with a smile stretching from ear to ear, takes his first steps into the life he had fought for.

The storms in my life tend to be more metaphorical than the one Truman experienced, but they are no less powerful. On multiple occasions, they have threatened to end my life.

They aren’t caused by a manipulative TV show creator, though. Often, they are a direct or indirect result of SMA. SMA isn’t conscious of the effect it has on my life, but because of it, I’ve been hospitalized for serious illnesses, undergone risky surgeries, dealt with medical equipment malfunctions, had plans derailed by poor health and fatigue, and more.

I wasn’t always expected to make it this far in life, but against the odds, I have. With some courage, resilience, and determination (and a whole lot of help from people who love me), I’ve been able to withstand the storms of life, even when it seemed unlikely.

Like Truman, I’ve had to fight for the life I have today, and it is a beautiful one filled with blessings. I’m sure I’ll need to weather more storms, but I have everything I need to do so. And when the storms pass, I’ll continue living the way I choose. Despite the obstacles along the way, I’ll choose to press on and enjoy each moment to its fullest potential.

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Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.

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