"You're lucky to be alive."
These are words no one wants to hear. But, if it's said by a neurologist and she is staring at a MRA of your head, then it's enough to strike fear in your heart. And change the way you look at the world around you. This past winter I faced a health scare. Concluding with said visit to neurologist. One specialist and some more testing later I had a diagnosis I could live with. Less grim. More perspective. As the good doctor said, "Are you lucky to be alive? Well, isn't everyone when you think about it?"
Yes. But, to be honest, I hadn't devoted much thought to it lately. Much to busy. Busy juggling work, family, the house and a million other things. Lots of balls in the air. About the only thing I hadn't been handling or dealing with on a daily basis was myself. What little time I had left at the end of the day seemed to valuable to be squandered on myself. So, I lost myself. Forgot myself. Forgot the person I once was. Until I got that wake up call.
Time to wake up and remember certain things. And discover new facets to my personality. The girl I used to be loved to have fun and adventures. The girl I used to be kept her walls up, firmly in place and backed up with another set of walls. No one was getting through them. Until someone did. A couple of people. Their names are husband and son. The world gave me a wake up call and I responded.
This past summer my family and I went rappelling and rock climbing. I was terrified. And not just your garden variety terrified. The guide had to tell me several times to look at him and breath. Hyperventilating. Once I made it to the ground I collapsed. My husband had to tell me that I was on the ground, I didn't even realize I was sitting on soil. Next came the rock climbing. Equally terrifying. But, I did it. And now every Wednesday I go to the gym and climb their rock wall. So far, I haven't made it to the top of their wall. To scary without Paul, the guide, cheering me on. Just a teenager that would rather be doing something else. One day I'll make it.
In the meantime I live life a little better than I did before. At the end of the day, I'm thankful to be here. Thankful for my family. I'm tearing walls down. Letting people in. Letting people know me. That's why I write this blog. I tell these stories and occasionally get a comment from someone that has read one and connected to it on some level, whether it's a tale of parenting my newborn, paying it forward or talking to the dogs. I feel like I've accomplished what I've always wanted to do. I'm writing, sharing it with people and having it inspire a reaction.
The other day my husband loaded our bikes on the back of the car and met up during my lunch hour. Where as once we may have said, "It's only an hour. Not worth the trouble.", we no longer think those things. We biked a path that runs along the river, starting in one town and finishing in a neighboring one. At one point, gathering some speed as we raced down a hill, the wind blowing across my face, I felt an insane urge to lift up my face and shout, "I'm back, baby!" Which I did not do. This is real life, not a scene out of Eat Pray Love, after all. A life that I am getting around to living again.