“You know the great thing, though? Is that change can be so constant, you don’t even feel a different until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t know that you’re life is better, or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant. It happened to me.”—Life as a House
While getting ready for school, I had a coughing fit that sent my lower back into muscle spasm. They didn’t stop for three days. I was bed ridden for three weeks.
A sudden trauma like this can rearrange you’re entire life, not just your spine. Or rather, you’re forced to rearrange your life to fit your trauma.
One year ago, my life changed.
This isn’t an over dramatization. Going from a busy school and social life to not being able to take off or put on your own socks, changes you.
For the first week, I was in constant pain and discomfort, made worse when I moved. Sneezing was a nightmare. I couldn’t sit up and get out of bed by myself. I had to eat lying down. I finally got some painkillers that helped; time was meaningless and the space I occupied didn’t extend beyond my bed. As everyone I knew either had a full-time job or was a full-time student, I barely saw or interacted with anyone.
The first time I could sit up for more than 30 seconds seemed like the greatest achievement of life. The first time I ate a whole meal sitting up, it was like the first time I had ever done it in my life.
It was three weeks before I was really walking anywhere, and even then it was with a cane and not for long periods of time. But after five weeks I was walking without a cane, and the majority of my mobility was back (but not my strength).
While an event of this magnitude had obvious and immediate effects on my life, I didn’t realise the long-term change this had upon me until my life had restored its order in the new year. I don’t know why I was so surprised: something like this will put a lot of things in perspective. The fragility of life. The unpredictability of events. The necessity to adapt. The importance of people. The need for hope.
And I know this seems cliché, but it really illuminated to never take things for granted. Simple, mundane actions, like turning over in bed, became a calculated and difficult procedure. Standing without aid became tantamount to running a marathon. Stairs were my Everest.
And maybe even more strongly, I realised that whatever our Everests are, the important thing is to keep climbing them.
“Silliness is a majorly underrated quality in humanity. I don’t know why it isn’t one of our major virtues: diligence and kindness and patience and humility and silliness.”—Hank Green, here (via neornithes)
Taylor Mac, theatre artist and drag queen extraordinaire, said those words in a show of his four years ago in a jam packed little black box theatre in Toronto. His show, “The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac” was one of the best one-man shows I have ever seen. He said to his audience, “comparison is…