There is no feeling quite like building something with your own two hands although repair is not strictly limited to fixing what is physically broken, but also filling in gaps where something is missing. In Elizabeth Spelman’s Repair: The Impulse to Restore, she provides many excellent examples and anecdotes of the different forms of repair. As a college student, I realize that throughout my lifetime I’ve done a decent amount of repairs from mending damaged friendships to even have changed a flat tire or two. On the first page of the book, Spelman says “our bodies and souls are also by their very nature subject to fracture and fissure” (Spelman 1). With this in mind, I am certain that my biggest repairs are still ahead of me, which is why I must first repair myself in order to face the trials waiting for me down the road of my life.
Growing up as the younger sibling, I have had my fair share of feeling like second best. From losing in races we would run around the house, to each year having my teachers asking if I was Alex’s, their favorite student’s sister, my ego was in a state of disrepair. This feeling of never quite being as successful as him manifested itself in me physically. I ate away my feelings of resentment. It was not until the summer before I began middle school that my new reality caught up with me. Although often times we wish to repair something the instant it is broken, I did not fully realize my state of disrepair until I noticed my brother’s disrepair. His perfect facade was crumbling, and with it came diagnoses. As I watched my seemingly perfect older brother struggle and start the slow process of his own repair, I found my drive. Although this repair was not out of necessity, it was fueled by my natural instinct as an H. Reparan to make a change for the better. As Spelman says in the book, “to repair is to acknowledge and respond to the fracturability of the world in which we live” (Spelman 5). That summer I made my first major self repair.
My first major self repair both served as a moment of restoring my personal health in addition to inhibiting me to be able to make further repairs in the future. Each repair is like mending a crack in the wall of a house. Sometimes, only a little bit of plaster is needed, while in other instances a section of the wall may need more extensive fixes. By putting forth the effort to repair the wall rather than allow it to come crashing down, we set ourselves up for an easier, more manageable fix in the future. Growing and personally improving ourselves rather than melting under the pressure not only improves our current situations, but also further down the roads of our life.