#28 What Is My Favourite Quote?
Alphonse Elric: “You’re not a good-for-nothing person. I think that being able to try your hardest at something is a talent all by itself. […] I think you should have more faith in yourself.” – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
I had no problem choosing a quote for this challenge item. Despite it being nearly 10 years since I first saw Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and despite the fact that the scene in which it’s spoken is fairly inconsequential to the anime as a whole, I’ve carried this quote with me through the years like a protective talisman.
Al, anime’s biggest sweetheart, directs these words at Sheska, a bookish clutz who was recently fired for underperforming at her job, as she laments over being “a good-for-nothing person”.
But what about this quote resonates with me so? Well, for one thing, Sheska and I aren’t all that different. We’re both kinda bookish and lacking in any kind of social grace… But, more to the point, we’re both chronically unsure of ourselves…
I’m good at lots of things: I’m a good listener, a competent cook, and a decent writer (for my self-esteem’s sake, just nod along here), but I’m remarkable at next to nothing (just being brutally honest with you here). This has been my biggest sore spot for as long as I can remember. I’m probably not alone in this… Most everybody wants to be remarkable, but very few can be. And when there’s a gap between your expectations and your reality, you’re bound to experience stress, frustrations, and disappointment. There’s actually a strong psychological basis for this…
But if there’s but one way in which I am remarkable it’s that I try hard, I try damn hard, at whatever I set my mind to. I won’t bore you with my entire life story, but things haven’t always been easy for me. I was emotionally abused, neglected, and exposed to domestic violence, alcohol, and drug abuse at a very young age. I was also bullied at school, forced into shoplifting for the bare essentials, and told that I’d never amount to anything by my teachers… But, in spite of this, I was determined to make something of my life. I pulled myself up by the metaphorical bootstraps and continued to get out of bed each morning, continued to go to school, continued to study, and continued to manage my mental health.
Things are much better now that I’m an adult, but, even now, I still experience fallout from my childhood… I still get night terrors and still fight off panic attacks when somebody raises their voice at or around me… But even when I’m having a bad day (or series of days) I still go to work, see to my chores, and maintain a clean and tidy appearance. I still try hard to be the best version of myself that I can be. So when I start to listen to my toxic self-talk, which does its best to convince me that, like Sheska, I’m a “good-for-nothing person”, I think about the above things and about what Al says about trying your hardest at something being a talent in and of itself, and that helps me to feel much, much better! It’s yet another example of how anime has changed my life for the better!
As always, thanks for reading! Sorry if that got a little heavy for a moment there, but I couldn’t talk about my favourite quote without talking about the impact it’s had on my life, so… Anyway, I’d love to hear all about your favourite quote! There are some absolutely awesome ones out there to be sure!