“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”
― Chuck Palahniuk.
I have always felt a little out of place or like an observer of this great big fish bowl earth, that’s teeming with life. This was especially true after I was injured and found myself displaced from where I had been thriving in New York City. I woke up at the bottom of a pity pit in a hospital rehabilitation center in my home state, back where I started before I moved away.I had hit a snakein life and slid right back to the beginning of the game. This couldn’t be more true since I had to relearn basic life skills that I had at one time already mastered. You would think a clean slate would be a good thing, but notso in this case. I had witnessed all the dominos Ipainstakingly set up, tumble down at the push of a bad life circumstance.I would soon be tasked with rebuildingit and that’s what I am now, a full time construction worker. The sixty four days I spent in the hospitaland even more before that saw me inching towards the starting line.Although I had a supportive crowd cheering me on, I had lost my “tribe.” A group of fun like minded people that helped motivateme to be better were missing from the hospital setting.Therefore, I went to many therapy appointments(after discharge) with a different kind of tribe. They weren’t bad just fellow people that were hurt like me, so it was dark and depressing in that village. I missed the glittering happy atmosphere that I had been used to, sinceit lifted my spirits. Although, I certainly tried to get back there with weekend workshops like Blogcademy.(Glitter!)However, aftertwo days of sunshine, on a Monday I had to return to that same dark village that was therapy; never was the importance of your atmosphere so obvious to me. Since then I have stumbled unexpectedly into members of my tribe(like this)which always makes me feel much better.Each day as I run into these like minded individuals and recover more, Ican see the entrance to my village getting closer and closer. Never take for granted or underestimate the importance of beingwhere you feelyou belong, it will save your life!
― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom.
Today, a newrecord was quietly accomplishedin a corner of the globe rarely heard of. Three once unrelated strangers gathered in friendship, and oneamazingpersonal journey was thrusted ever forward to the “finish line.” While the rest of the world hummed along minding its own business, I was excitedly(and happily) checkingone more daydream off my to do list.Just like most personal goals it was of little importance to everyone else, except in this particular case Iwas accompanied by others that understoodthe importance of such a day. Many of us are skilled at rationalizing our way out of doing something. When in truth, we need to be rationalizing our way intomore things! There is no reason you cannot accomplish what you dream of. As they say, where there’s a will there is a way.By working through seemingly insurmountable circumstances with gritted teeth and a rock solid resolve, I have found that to be absolutely true. You see, what we aren’t told enough growing up is that we can do anything.Be weary of those who tell youany different. Ultimately, the people that believe in you as much as you believe in yourself, will walk right alongside you during the race.
above: My two pillars of support during the race Early on(when I was injured) there were questions of my ability to walk well again if at all, and much less trek a mile! However, with tremendous support and blessings I’ve done just that twice now. Both times were events that originally had been dreamed up in my mind.
above girl in tutu:Tropicolor, color run. the happiest 5k on the planet!
EvenifI completed each goal slowly, the point was to complete it at all and soak up the fact that dreams do(and can) come true. Especially when you put your best foot forward and your mind to it. Therefore, be careful of what you tell yourself and who you listen to. Because, whatever words are spoken get eaten up by our heart. Certainly, your heart deserves only the best things that life has to offer, so don’t let it consume words thatwill harm it!Find windto carry you where there is none, and fly high even when others want you to stay low.
“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” -Charlie Chaplin.
Through my recovery I’ve discovered an invisible divide.Even whensurrounded by people in the general public, I felt as if I was on the other side of a chasm. Because while I could physically reach out and touch another person, they were still miles away.I could voice what I was going through, but nothing quite explains it like shared experience does.Fortunately, that chasmfeels like it’s getting more narrow. I’ve even found myself happy when a friend came to me withsomethingscary or possibly tragic that had happened. While I certainly don’t wish for anything bad to befall them, I found myself becoming comfortable in the space of rehabilitation(mind,body,and soul) it was in these places where broken people came to be“fixed,” that I was at ease. Am I broken? No, but perhapsthe worldwould generally see it that way. It was in rooms for rehabilitation, that I wished my friends could be there too. As if it were some type of inclusive club, I wanted them to join too.If common interests bring two people into friendship, it’s a tragedy that can truly meld them together. I didn’t like being on the other side of an invisible wall watching the worldpass by me. A world that hadjobs,social lives,significant others,the ability to drive,independence,freedom,and went to bed every night withouthaving to wear braces or go to therapy, but generally their time was spent how theywanted. I felt as though my life,time,and freedom of choice had been hijacked by the most evil of beings. I desired to bring a friend into my“fishbowl,”not tocommiserate, but to relate.Bonds are built and strengthened when you go through a tragedy with someone. Itbeats you up initially, then it leaves you open. In the aftershock,you stumble around and bump into other confusedvictims.In meeting them you canunderstand andrelate to the bandages that both of you now need.I don’t consider myself a victim,but rather a survivor,andwhat do survivors do? Theytake the lessonslearned to rebuild, fight back, and become stronger. Because ofthat initial beating I’ve had to rebuild too and that’s exactly what I’m doing.