I feel as though I have been running cross country for most of my life, at least mentally. Earlier in life it felt as though I were always running away from something, trying to put distance between myself and my disability, other people’s expectations of me or sometimes lack of expectation and a laundry list of other things. If someone drew a picture of my mental self at that point I would probably have all kinds of small cuts on my face and arms the needs of my jeans would be worn through and money shoes would probably look as if they might fall apart at any second. That’s definitely how I perceived myself anyway. At some point it changed though, instead of running away, trying to outdistance something I began to get the feeling that I was running toward something though if you asked who or what I was chasing I couldn’t give you much of an answer. At the age of 12 or 13 a man I couldn’t place as anyone I knew or had heard of at the time began showing up in my mind both while I was asleep and awake. Since I had begun writing at that time (mostly historical romances that I wouldn’t pay Harlequin to publish if they asked now) I assumed for years that he was a character I simply had not found a story for which still isn’t uncommon for me today. When I was a sophomore in high school I had to write a short story for class and since he was still in my head on a regular basis it seems natural that the lead male character would look like him. Fast forward to present day I am still working on that short story although it isn’t so short anymore. After I completed the assignment my English teacher strongly suggested that I expand it to a full length book. My graduating class has its 10 year reunion this year and I’m still tweaking the story. Christmas of 2011 I did something highly uncharacteristic for me and that I joined a dating site without someone twisting my arm to get me to do so. Much to my continued amazement somebody responded. I looked them up on Facebook only to discover the man who had been silently in my head for over 10 years staring back at me. If I had been sitting in a regular chair at the time this are probably would have knocked it over. In that exact moment I knew who I had been running toward for half my life.
Photo Credit : Possibly the coolest example of a Jacob’s Ladder I’ve seen was found at http://nova.innovation.rit.edu/csi2/main/node/Arc via Google Image search
My sister posted a YouTube link on to my Facebook today. After watching it I felt like the world’s biggest wimp and sellout. A disabled veteran of the first Gulf War who had been told that he would never walk again without forearm crutches due to damage sustained from jumping out of airplanes loses 140 pounds in 10 months and proves everybody wrong after 15 years of being overweight and alternating between using a manual wheelchair and crutches through the use of yoga. I watched him fall over and over again but eventually his balance got better and instead of walking with crutches and knee braces, he walked with a single pain and knee braces and then without the braces at all and then without the cane. Most of the video is indoors but the frames after those were shot in a part. The guy is walking, no crutches, canes, no braces in sight. He doesn’t fall, then jogging and then full out running, something he was told he would never do again.
Watching that video made me realize that I given up a whole lot just because I believed someone else had the right to limit my life when they thought I would never do something. No more. Today and tomorrow and the day after that I own my life.. The words can’t won’t and never don’t exist anymore, at least not within the context of things I want to accomplish. The video I saw can be found here.
Just because I can’t do it today, doesn’t man I’m not going to be able to do it someday,
Image via CrunchBase
While reading through the posts on another blogging community I am part of I came across this one and I realize that I have had to deal with this phenomenon recently myself. Within the past year I have lost two very dear friends, both of whom were and still are on my friends list on Facebook. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the automated messages that Facebook sometimes generates suggesting that you help the deceased find friends are jarring. I can best describe the feeling as something similar to the feeling get walking down a set of stairs and skipping one on accident, it almost feels like you have to catch yourself to keep from falling. Every time this happens I find myself having to blink away tears. In spite of this I can’t bring myself to remove them from my list of people. Why? It is not because I refuse to accept the fact that they’re dead, I know this. I have shed copious amounts of tears over both of their absences. Having been through the grieving process several times in my life I am aware that at some point the memory of the deceased persons face becomes blurred as though it has been smudged with an eraser and it becomes difficult to remember details. These two people have mads such a difference in my life that I can’t stand eve the thought of forgetting their faces. Their profile pictures are reassuring somehow and for me at least outweighs the discomfort caused by the abrupt reminders of reality that Facebook occasionally sends.
Taylor Swift at the 2010 Time 100. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s amazing what or who a song can prompt you to think about. I have also found it to be true that an artist you are pretty sure you can’t stand will often come up with a song that you like. Enter my relationship with Taylor Swift.I like country music just not hers……. usually. Then I heard “Ours”, it’s a sappy us against the world type love song and I fell for it. No surprise when you consider I changed zip codes and states as soon as I could to be with my boyfriend.
What did surprise me is that as I was listening to the song in one tab and perusing Facebookin another I happened to see my friend Sondra’s profile picture and almost cried.For those of you who may be confused let me explain. Sondra was married to my dad’s best friend Kurby, who passed away suddenly several months ago. Seeing her profile picture changed to a solo shot without Kurby was like skipping a step walking down stairs and having to catch myself. At that moment I realized the song applied to them too. There is a line in the song, “…. people throw rocks at the the things that shine….”. I hope no one ever threw rocks at them. They did shine together, brighter than anybody I know
Image by rosefirerising via Flickr
I have heard that if you write three pages of writing in the morning (approximately 750 words) you will find that your mind is less cluttered and it may be easier to focus because your brain is not bouncing around as many unrelated ideas. The original exercise was meant to be done in longhand, with pen and paper. Fortunately for me because my handwriting is worse than chicken scratch and if I actually wrote three pages I would give up before the second paragraph someone decided to create a digital version. 750 words.com you can login using your Facebook account info as well as Yahoo or Google if you prefer. Just make sure that you stick with the one you initially login with because apparently the account verification is completely different for each site. Your 750 words are completely private and the various ways to connect are used only to monitor site statistics. When I first heard of the 750 word exercise I admit I scoffed at it but it is actually helpful . There are even badges that you can earn for instance a picture of a cheetah appears when you reach the 750 mark particularly fast, the criteria for the rest of the badges remains a mystery you find out what milestone you hit when the badge appears. I would like to know what everyone else thinks of this site’s actually pretty simple.