“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
-Frank A Clark.
There is a line that runs across the globe of my life, and you can’t see it. It’sthe day of October 12th, 2012, a space in time that has forever separated my life into a “before, and after.” Well, the before and after the massive stroke that is. Everything gets compared to and measured against this timeline continually. The closer I can get to the before measurement, the better. I used to think that my life was the most valid on the before side of this line. However, as things improve the after side isn’t looking as doomed. If you’re a psychology buff as I am, you will know that we often misremember our past aswell as our futures. This has been proven by numerous studies. In my search to nullify my own psychic pain from all the struggles of recovery I have discovered this fact, as well as the factthat 85% of our worries do not come true (read here).Combined, these two mental objects set in the landscape of time have helpedthe “after,” side of the equatorbecome as sunny as South Florida. The blindfold blocking your mind from this view is that we often believe our futures will be like our present. We can let bad circumstances settle upon us and bury us, or choose to be enlightenedby them like a flint being struck against stone. When push comes to shove, those bad circumstances have to go!Your life is as valid as you choose to view it. Surprisingly, all those traits that doctors worried the stroke would take away have survived. I’ve just had to work very hard to uncover them. The point being, that no matter what the tragedy, few things can take away your spirit.My personality has not been lost(or re-shaped) by the seven blood clots that threatened to make me brain dead. Rather, the human spirit proves to persevere.
“Those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who lay a firm foundation of growth with the bricks that life has thrown at them.” -Marc and Angel Hack Life.
Let’s face it, growing can be painful.Not just physical growth but emotionalgrowth as well.Your bones stretch,sometimes you even break them, hormones change, and your feelings get hurt. All throughout life we continue to grow, and it seems it never stops hurting does it? Just when you think you’re invincible your armor gets pierced by that big bullynamed life. However, even thoughsome of us learn to dodge or withstand the attacks sometimes itlooks as though the bully has won the fight. Except,here’s the thing, you’re not allowed to give up mid battle. Because if you do that, how will you everlive to see the other side to your victory? As tiresome as it feels, with determinationyou still manage the energy to carry on. It’s no secret that we all have wanted to give up but look,it is then you found that little piece of coal to keep the fire going.This is why we need stories and inspiration, to stoke the fire and bring it to an appropriate roar. There is no way we’re going to let Goliath win the fight! I don’t care how small I may seem, my spirit can rise up togiant heights, and so can yours. So big in fact, that you tower over Goliath. It was when I looked to be at my weakest that I found my strength. How? Because, giving up or giving in is not an option. Even though a rock would be lovely to crawl under sometimes, we must overturnthe rocks. Because,if you hide underneath a rock you’ll suffocate. No matter how you feel, there’s something to be said for being seen regardless. It will do you good to carry onward and upward. Hold your head high no matter what! A ship reaches its destination when the sails are full(winds of inspiration?) and the rudder is facing the direction in which it wants to go. The same can be said for which way your head is facing and the direction of your eyes.
“Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.” -Loretta Young.
Since, it’s pretty obvious that modern dating has pretty much killed any romance(see here)
As much as it’s about finding or meeting someone else, in an odd way it helped me find myself instead. For years I lamented a general despise for theidea of dating, all the while also being quite lonely. However, in retrospect when I finally decidedtoventure out and meet someone italso led meback to myself in ways I didn’t expect.Each blind date I went on(the fewanyway)Ididn’t dress to impress, but rather for myself and what I liked. If they liked it or not I couldn’t be bothered. In another instanceIran latebecause I had gottenpulled in by some pretty headpieces in a shop window. Whilethisall sounds like I’m some kind of“bad dater,” I beg to differ, because ina subtle waymy lack of being dependent onthe approval ofsomeone else wasrearing it’s singular head. My dating adventures didn’t stop there of course. While I certainlydidn’t find a Mr. Right orPrince Charming, the sheeract of putting myself out there was fun. I did meet some cool and interesting guys, but more importantly Inarrowed downwhat I did or didn’t want.Modern dating may have killed romance, but in the process it’s made us more independent. Whether it’s simply because you can’t manage to find someone or have a realization that you don’t necessarilyneed to. Even in a marriage you need to be self sufficientand well contented(happy!) within yourself. Because single or attached it helps to be playing with a full deck of cards. Onlyyou have the ability tobring yourself happiness, rather than a fellow human being. I remain single(or am) but I’m learning. I’m gettingan education in self sufficiency. In navigating my way through a seemingly impossible situation, I’m gaining awareness of just how strong I am, but alsohow weak I can feel. The good news is that where I amweak, others have helped hold me up to prevent me from falling. In myfrailty(emotional or otherwise) I’vepeeled back the layers to find strength and meaning. As much as some women look for aknight in shining armor, I’ve proven that you don’t need one. Your life should be enriched by a Prince(or Princess) but not saved by one. There are many times you will have to slay your own dragons, and I promiseit’s not as difficult as youmay think and you can do it.
Irealize I have not been completely honest with you dear reader. In my definition of strength, I thought it meant you had to remain a pillar toughing it out on your own remainingpositive. While I am quite hopeful and idealistic, no man is an island. On the surface the water is calm. However, drop arock of fear in and the ripples of doubt and worry unfurl into a large splash. If I let one little pebble of fear in they quickly accumulate into a boulder.Since I began reading this book(look!) my definition of strength is changing. Because, in the act of going it alone and not asking I’ve essentially left people out rather then let them in. The truth is when this tragedy occurred to me I had a lot to lose)and sinceI awoke in a Hospital rehab it has been a small step away from spiraling into a black hole. I’ve gotten quite good at shutting mythoughts off. If one little pebble of fear does eke it’s way in it’s a slippery slope. Therefore,you have to find things to keep looking forward to. All of a sudden amall trip actually becomes a lifesaver(I don’t even like malls) the key is distraction. Besides distraction it becomes imperative to surround yourself with positivity and keep it near. Not only is positivity a must, but so aregood people. One of the strongest forces in this universe islove andduring difficult times you can’t get enough of it. If you truly love people enough they will give you everything. In other words it’s not about material belongings or gifts but human connection. All of us are asking, “Doyou seeme?” As most of us know already(I hope) material goods are of little use or value if your not happy and healthy. I found myself so detached from consumerism( quite a change for me!) that my Mother had to tell me to quit giving things away. Whenthe winds of life pushed meonto a different path I seriously began to question the need for anything but the essentials. When I was in my early twenties, I scrawled this quote in black sharpie(of course) on my wall “ The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.”-unknown. If I remove a picture on my wall it’s still there andhow funnyit is that this messagefrom the past to my future self still holds true, take that Back to the Future! Ifsomething I have can bring happiness to someone else, I can’t give it to them fast enough. It has boiled down to, rather then a new sweater I’d rather make someone happy. Life is for sharing not accumulating things. It reminds me of the junk troll in The Labyrinth.
She roamed David Bowie’smagical kingdom withaheavy load on Her back. Rather thenmaking theload more weight bearing, I’m attempting toget rid of mine. I want to breathe lightly and clear. It’sthe air filling our lungs that keeps us alive. More burdens steal your breath. Whether it’s meditation, church, or remaining idealistic and positive that helps you breathe, whatever lightens the load for youkeep playing that hand.
“When you see a good move, look for a better one.” –Emanuel Lasker
The game of Chess always seemed like a difficult and intimidating game to learn, much less master,that is until I got a brain injury. Of course I’m in no way downplayingthe skills it takes to master this game.After Iwas injured, perhaps it was my determination or perhaps my ever present stubbornness (I do have atattoo that reads rebelrebel after all) but I could recall passing by men in Central Park sitting at tables behind Chess boards waiting for a challenge or an opponent.I wanted to be able to sit across fromone of these men and play a game underthe sunshine in a beautiful park, but passed by not knowing how to play. However(,(rebel that I am) once I was under the impression that people didn’t expect such things from me I absolutely wanted to learn and I had the time and a wonderful teacher available to me, so why not?Furthermore there are big benefits for your mind(read here!?)in learning Chess. Agame in the park, the mental work out, andthe allure of a new skillall called my name.I just thought “ How cool would it be to learn Chess after this happened to me? Take that life!”After all when life hands you lemons do something it doesn’t expect.When the tides try topull you under, your strength rises up. Dear reader may your strength too, come unfurledlike a race horse charging out of the gate.
“I didn’t know how strong I was until that was the only choice.”
I have always been fiercely independent and prided myself on that.However since having a near death experience I’ve also been severely dependent in some ways.For quite awhile(a year?) I have had someone around to help me even with simple things like getting dressed! I felt as though all my independence had been stolen from me.Seemingly trapped in a body that was not working for me,even the little things like getting dressed suddenly became difficult. It was strange to be asked questions by healthcare workers like “Are you able to feed yourself?” Because, of course that was always a given! My world had been turned upside down and in the prime of my life I found myself in a battle to regain it.Even small steps were big ones to me.All the things I had previously not noticed or taken for granted were in stark contrast to what I was dealing with now.I’m still in the battle but now I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.This morning instead of having an “assistant,” there to help I insteaddfid everything myself, even though at times it was a struggle as I realized I was doing it on my own again I increasingly became excited and proud of myself,not all too dissimilar from a kid finally tying their own shoes.That sense of accomplishment was worth the momentary struggles of getting dressed using one arm,even better I did it in under 20 minutes! The struggles of the past gave way to victory.These things are what make you stronger. Although we see our struggles as a pain in many ways they’re the stepping stones to an eventual (and equally glorious) victory.Through such a small feat to others I found(if only a sneak peek) some of my confidence and determination.As I wheeled(wheelchair) out of the room I looked at this picture(below) and said “See you tomorrow.”
This is a blog post for all the “Beyonce Babes,”out there.
I was thinking recently about a few of my very good girlfriends and I came to the conclusion that they’re “Beyonce’ Babes.”
That is their designation because they possess the qualities of strong independent women.
As a person of the fairer gender that is what I look up to and aim for.
These are ladies I’m proud to call my friends.
They are women that take care of themselves, rarely rely on a guy, possess creativity, intelligence, and adventure.
These are the type of ladies I want to have a party with in life for a long time to come.
Thank you for going against the age old stereotypes that society has come up with over the years. Whether your a male or female, don’t fret over what others think.
Perhaps that is something that comes with age, but you can get there faster by taking notice of the lessons or mistakes that others have learned.
It’s no wonder the elderly rock stretchy pants and loafers like there is no tomorrow, they simply don’t care!
In conclusion Ladies and Gentleman take heed from them and shed the opinions of others that you don’t need.