Lovable Idiot: Forrest is For Real

In the film Forrest Gump, Forrest says: “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

In the book, on the other hand, he says: “Let me say this: bei’n an idiot is no box of chocolates. People laugh, lose patience, treat you shabby. Now they say folks s’posed to be kind to the afflicted, but let me tell you – it ain’t always that way.”

These are two clearly different approaches to dealing with a protagonist who is an archetypal outsider. Neurodivergent, learning disabled and keenly aware of it due to mal treatment by others. You learn your place in the world by how people treat you. You earn your place in the world by how you choose to treat yourself.

I never embarked on the reading journey of Forrest Gump mostly because it became bigger than itself. Creating a chain of Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurants and a catch phrase that was a total farce. Or rather, it’s the polite way of saying that no one knows what life is going to taste like until they bite down. Can it even be swallowed?

Since I’m not into polite and totally into kind I’m with Forrest on this. I’m going to tell you that life is like a box of chocolates 🍫 that I get every year and still can’t follow the chart that tells me which *inside* sits where. I have waited much of my life to be diagnosed with something that explains why I feel more like Forrest and less like Jenny. Validation by someone else. A certification I never wanted to gain. Our brains operate differently. He was outed as a child. I hid behind silence and social cues.

Having Autism is not the trouble. The trouble is we struggle to see the brilliance in 150 different ways to eat shrimp 🍤 . Life is like Bubba’s shrimp menu…diverse, inclusive and creative.

AND… “A Hero Ain’t Nothin but a Sandwich” -#readabook 😉

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