For the Graduates: Dealing with Doubt ft. Deadpool
Now that it’s graduation season, I think it’s just apt that we write a little something something for the newly grads. But in true What’s A Geek fashion, we’re gonna put a little geeky twist to it. To all the graduates out there, in your few years of college, you’ve all learned something valuable that you wish to take out into the world to, hopefully, make it a better place. It might seem like that burden’s a little too much to bear sometimes. Sometimes you don’t even think about that grand responsibility and you already feel shackled by the relatively smaller pressures like parents, friends, professors, deadlines, and even expectations of yourselves that you can’t seem to reach. And although you’ve learned much, there’s always room for more. That’s why we’re here right now. We’re going to learn a little something from our good buddy, Deadpool.
“Wait- what,” I hear you say. To which I reply “Bitch, did I stutter?”
Yes, the Merc With The Mouth, the Wade with the Wilson, the Captain, Deadpool. At first glance, the Merc With The Mouth isn’t the best person to learn anything from. What would a newly graduated individual learn from him? He’s impulsive, easily distracted, opens his mouth and swings his sword with utter disregard of other people – You get the picture. But underneath the comedic character that we get from the combination of all the above mentioned, is a man who struggles. Fans would always describe Deadpool as that crazy guy who tells funny jokes and breaks the fourth wall all the time. That’s pretty much the character we got in the recent movie. But what people usually don’t mention about him, is his intense struggle with himself. And I think that’s why Deadpool is an important character for us right now. At one point in being a student, you were impulsive, you were easily distracted, you would open your mouth and act with utter disregard of other people. And let’s face it, it won’t be the last time you will be just because you graduated.
Deadpool, despite everything, is a person who, like most people fresh out of college, wants to do something good. It was even shown at one point that he looked up to Captain America when he was younger. We can see this capacity for heroism heavily in Cable and Deadpool, the Mithras Arc, and the Dark Reign Arc. In Cable and Deadpool, he’s shown intentions of wanting to make the world a better place where people aren’t judged by appearances, likely coming from his experience of struggling with his appearance. In the Mithras Arc, he saved the world from some Lovecraftian alien entity that threatens to take the free will of everyone on Earth. In the Dark Reign arc and Cable and Deadpool, he shows a desire to change his ways, trying to control his impulses. He even went on to seek out prominent heroes like The X-men, Captain America and Spider-man to help them in their missions and hero work and ask for advice on being a hero. But like anyone who tries to change and do the good, Deadpool always runs into obstacles, both external and internal.
More important to consider aside from the obvious obstacles of supervillains and super henchmen is his struggle with others and his inner struggle. Doubt is always present in Deadpool’s struggle. Knowing Deadpool’s reputation, the heroes he approaches are always reluctant of his desire to assist either because they don’t believe that someone such as Deadpool can contribute in a positive way or that he’ll never change his ways. And then of course, there’s doubt within himself. When he was called to defeat the alien in the Mithras Arc, he would doubt saying they could get some other superhero, someone more deserving. In Cable and Deadpool, he doubts his ability to change who he is to be something better, the hero that Cable believes he could be. But in the end, he gets the job done. He saves the world from the free will stealing alien, he cooperates with the heroes effectively without impulsively killing anyone, and he fulfills his promise to Cable to not impulsively kill (for a while…).
You’ve all went through your four or five (or more, I ain’t judging) years of college. You’ve gone through exams, sleepless nights of studies, theses, and other non-academic emotional roller coasters that came with it. You’ve had your doubts of not being the best you could be, of not passing, of not being good enough to take up a challenge. And when you go out there, all these fears will come back, albeit in a different light. But remember that it is all part of the journey. How can we deal with this?
Let’s look at five ways we can learn to deal with doubt as seen in Deadpool.
1. Remember that people believe in you
Deadpool has people he can rely on, people who believe he can be more than what he is, more than what he thinks he could be. Blind Al, Siryn, and Cable are the noticeable characters that fit this role. Blind Al, Siryn, and Cable have stayed by Deadpool’s side because they believe in his latent capacity to be a hero. It was their belief in him that pushed him to, at the very least, try to be a better person. Remember, you didn’t go through your college life alone. There were people who believed in you and the good that you could do and they will continue to do so. Believe in them who believed in you.
2. Ask for help
As we just said, Deadpool has people he can rely on. Weasel, Blind Al, Cable, Siryn, Taskmaster (when they’re not beating each other up), Bob, and a few others. When there is a problem either with a job or with his unstable self, they can be called to lend a helping hand. There are people in your life who’d be ready and willing to save your butt too. Parents, friends, family, professors, classmates, are there for you. Don’t be afraid to have a little counseling time or to ask for an extra hand when the situation calls for it.
3. Just do it
When Deadpool was doubting whether he could be a hero, Blind Al told him a story of this person she met in World War II.
This hero turned out to be Captain America. All heroes have their doubts, even the heroes you look up to. But as stated above, you can only do the right thing and survive. There are times when we’re called to greatness, to do the right thing, to love, and we can’t let fear get the best of us during these times. You might not be the best person for this, but you’re there, called to act. You may be no Captain America, but you’re enough. If crazy, maniacal Deadpool can be a hero, you can too.
4. Believe in your own plans
Deadpool has worked with the X-men, the Avengers, and Spider-man. Needless to say, they didn’t really believe in Deadpool’s ability to not cause massive chaos and always doubted his plans and methods. Through convoluted and complex plans, Deadpool has helped them in ways they would never have predicted, and without causing as much casualties as they expected him to.
People will doubt you, but you need to know that you have your own unique way of dealing with problems. Who knows, you might solve something deemed unsolvable by others by virtue of your unique perspective. Trust in your abilities and your perspective.
5. You’re still gonna fuck up anyway
You’re always gonna have problems with something. No matter how hard Deadpool tries, sometimes his own tendencies can still screw him over. But it’s important to take note that Deadpool, despite still being an ass most of the time, does make progress. He’s been noticeably more conscious of when he kills and does so more sparingly. And for a raving psychopath like Deadpool, that’s something. With a lot of things, progress isn’t always linear. You’ll fuck up, go back, relearn a few things, forget a few, relearn, again and again. “Try again, fail again, fail better” as Samuel Beckett said. Don’t let a few setbacks get you down. It might even show that you’re taking steps in the right direction.
There we are, five things we’ve learned from Deadpool that we impart to you, dear graduates. Don’t let doubt seep into your life. And if you do start feeling that negative voice inside your head is bothering you, pick up a comic (or a CBZ file cuz everything is digital now), you can always find solace in your good buddy Deadpool. He knows all about them inner voices, he’s got two. Congratulations, and remember: Maximum Effort.