I can wait…
I adore The Lion King.
It’s not just the amazing music, either (which, btw, is unbelievably great!). It’s the tale of a cocky young lion who gets his ass handed to him more than once before he finally learns to be the kind of leader worthy of becoming king. The scene in which “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” is featured, Zazu tries desperately to mentor the young cub, but Simba has other ideas. He recruits others to assist in thwarting Zazu so that he can escape to explore on his own. Simba is both naiive and arrogant, not recognizing the potential for danger until it is too late.
This cautionary tale is at the forefront of my mind as we begin this year’s Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Each year since 2012, I have embraced the blogging challenge with gusto. It has helped me purge a lifetime of feeling misunderstood, discounted, and maligned because of migraine. Frankly, it’s been really good therapy.
Over time, I discovered there was a lot more to migraine and headache advocacy than just exposing my soul and passing around purple images. The problem is so much bigger than any one patient’s experience. The problem of migraine will not be solved until society’s ideas about headache and migraine change dramatically. When everyone (whether they’ve ever experienced migraine or not) embraces the urgency felt by every patient whose migraines are out of control, then we will start making progress.
Changing hearts and minds, convincing people to invest in research, and applying political pressure to allocate funding will take more than pretty pictures and sad stories. For years I have been satisfied to let others do this challenging work, content to quietly support their efforts from the sidelines. I’ve watched as wide-eyed, eager advocates-to-be jumped into the fray only to be beaten down by a world unfriendly to migraine. Knowingly putting myself in the line of fire was not a role I was eager to embrace. My journey into advocacy has been meticulously slow on purpose. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. Big jobs are full of big rewards and big pitfalls.
I don’t want to end up like Simba.
I NEED more than one Zazu to guide me on this journey, to warn me when danger is ahead, and advise me when I get lost.
I want them to teach me how to deal with Scar and the hyenas, too.
Today’s post was inspired by “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King.