The last few weeks of 2015 were not quite what I expected. I have never been one to believe in a vast overarching destiny. I believe in the small, quiet nudges that you can almost miss if you’re not listening that whisper, “go here,” “do this,” “don’t do that,” “this is important.” I got several of those in the past few weeks. Mom had been watching clips of an Australian comedian named Adam Hills and something told me to look up his longer pieces. Turns out the guy has an artificial foot because he was born without one. That definitely piqued my curiosity and so I sat and watched everything of his I can find. He doesn’t tell jokes so much as humorous stories and he was telling how he metthe Dalai Lama and made him laugh by refusing to tell him a joke. The Dalai Lama then took the microphone and said that people who have microphones should use them to say things. I was totally stunned. So many people who have been blessed with the opportunity to have a microphone whether it be a literal one or not say absolutely nothing, reality TV is all the proof I need of that one. A blog is also a microphone, amplifying our voices to be heard almost anywhere. Makes those words count, talk about the hard uncomfortable stuff that you’d rather shove in a drawer or walk past and pretend you didn’t see.
The second thing that happened to me at the end of last year is that I started talking to a friend who I had believed I would never hear from again. By all rights I should have slammed the metaphorical door in his face but there was that whisper again,don’t do that, this is important. So we’re talking again this was one important caveat that should help us avoid situations like the one that caused us to quit talking to each other. We always speak truth, even if it is hard, painful, or unpleasant for the other person to hear . Speak Up. Speak Out. Speak Truth. Those three things are the only way we can ever hope to change anything for the better.
Christmas of 1994 found the movie Iron Will appeared under our tree. It’s a live action Disney film about a seventeen year old boy who undertakes a 500 mile dog sled race from Winnipeg, Canada to St. Paul Minnesota for 10,000 dollars in prize money to save the family farm after his father’s death. Once Will has made his intent to race clear( (much to his mother’s quiet terror) his father’s friend Ned, puts him through a grueling regime of endurance training so that he has half a chance of winning against men who have at least a decade and a half more age and experience . “Run longer, sleep less,” gets repeated through out the movie. It occurs to me that has been a theme in my life. Even all these years later it’s still one of my favorite movies.
Because of my disability I start off behind the curve on a lot of things. Sometimes it feels like I have to work twice as hard to get half as far and there have been many times I’ve resented that fact. This year I resolve to embrace “run longer, sleep less” I intend to make a more concentrated effort to blog at least three times a w week. Ultimately I would like to blog daily on a consistent basis but I never discount the value of baby steps.
To say that this Christmas didn’t go to plan is an understatement, yesterday we found out that money we had planned to use for several needed things including getting me an easier to work cell phone with a local number for when doctor appointments. Etc come up wasn’t there anymore. Since doctors appointments and discussions with insurance people are imminent with the coming New Year, being without a -phone meant an extra layer of difficulty, I mean Google Voice only goes so far.
Enter my younger sister who has been the super hero of my life, or so it seems. I originally asked for her help buying a basic phone and her immediate reaction was.” WHY do you not have a smart phone? With all the apps those things are meant to make the lives of people like you easier. For the clarification of anyone who might be new to the blog “people like you” means people who live with disabilities. Next thing I know she says that I should have a phone in 3 to 5 days. This is my sister the super hero I meant to get her a Christmas present but I wasn’t able to get it in time and I don’t think anything I could buy would be worthy of her. I love you Morgan.
I brought in the New Year at home which is quite common for me. I rarely go out New Year’s Eve for the simple reason that I can’t drive and the majority of people I know with a license either had to work or had plans of their own. As one calendar year faded into another I was struck by how anti-climactic it was. After all the debate surrounding the Mayan calendar and the recent tragedies in the names New Year’s Eve was uneventful at least in my part of the world. I guess what they say is true, time marches on whether we think it should or not. Several years ago I had to request a copy of my high school transcript, when I went to pick it up I noticed a memorial garden and branch that had been placed in memory of a classmate of mine who died just before senior year. I remember hearing the news of his death and that my grief was solid and heavy in the pit of my stomach. I also remember that the grief twisted and snarled around me like heavy links of a chain, and I suddenly had an idea of what Jacob Marley‘s ghost must have felt like.
Do not mistake me, my grief lies not in the fact that I knew the young man well, rather, I grieved for opportunities lost. I did not know him half as well as I would like and even though he was in and out of the hospital continuously because of a heart condition the fact that I didn’t know her mom is my fault alone and that is one of my major regrets in this lifetime. Later I asked my cousin who’s going to school there at the time if she knew anything about the boy with the memorial. She informed me that to her and to most of the people she knew at school he was nothing more than a name. I almost cried.
This year is my 10th high school reunion. I still haven’t decided whether to go or not but I can’t help wondering if my classmates remember him. Tempus fugit. Time flies they say, sometimes I think it flies too fast, carrying with it thing that should be remembered along with things best left in the past. This year is my year to remember. I will remember to thank before I speak, book before I leak, I will remember what others forget. Most of all I will remember the importance of “I love you” because you never know when the time you thought you had will suddenly run out.
So the closing of the year is upon us. Christmas has come and gone once again. This year has had its share of tears for many people, myself included. Occasionally you run into divider moments, events which lead to a person thereafter marking time as life “before” a particular event and “after” it. For me it has been one of those years. Life will never be quite the same again. Fortunately this year has brought with it happy changes to balance the sad ones.I’m still not quite certain why my life decided to take a 360 turn from where it was to wear it is but I’m glad it did. Our relationship model doesn’t make sense to most people and it doesn’t have to. Within the last year I have grown so much as a person that I almost don’t recognize my previous self. It may sound cliched but it’s true. I have a wonderful man and woman in my life and would not trade the for the world. Looking forward to a new year I hope everybody laughs more than they cry and makes an effort to take the time to pay it forward when good fortune comes their way.
Well guys 2012 is here. A blank slate to do with what I want. 2011 was the year of unexpected things happening to me, mostly pleasant, some not so much. Today marks the start of the year that I make things happen. The biggest lesson the past year has taught me? Life is short and can be over in the space between one breath and the next…stop living the life that’s expected. Live the life that makes you happy, because in the end you are the one who lives with the regret if you don’t. So this year I’m living for myself. In almost 27 years I have a long list of regrets. No more. I’m not saying that all the choices I make will turn out exactly how I’d like but they will be mine and because of that I refuse to regret them. A lot of things will be said when I die but it will be said I lived it my way, even if that way seems unconventional to most people.
You might think this will be a cheerful holiday post I wish that were the case, I really do. I believe I have used up all the cheer I had in the past few weeks. The holidays, especially New Year’s, remind me how alone I am. I know that my family cares, but sometimes it isn’t nearly enough.Almost everyone I know will make plans with someone for December 31. I will be here most likely on my own,watching as my computer counts down the last few seconds of a largely disappointing year. True there will be a champagne toast at midnight and probably more than a few bottle rockets shot off illegally within city limits, which most of the local police force will ignore for the sake of the holiday, but not much else If Christmas is about family then New Year’s is the time when you go out and do silly crazy stuff with friends, which may or may not include consumption of large amounts of alcohol. My problem is that most of the friends that are geographically closest to me, as well as closest to my age are now so involved in their adult life that even if they do promise to visit it rarely happens. I know that this is human nature and so I try not to hold it against them too much but knowing that the hurt that is clause is unintentional is a very poor Band-Aid with which to try and heal it. That being said, I sincerely wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year, may it hold more bright prospects and far fewer bitter pills to swallow them this year has.