So today as I drove to the gym, in the early hours of the morning I was thinking. Thinking about my past, thinking back on old injuries. Thinking about how I just keep going back for more and how it speaks volumes about my character. It speaks about the person I have become, the person who I want to be. I started to wonder as I cruised long down 35W headed toward the pool for my weekly date with the water, feeling a sense of guilt over missing Thursdays workout, what shapes my determination? Where does my strength come from? Have I always had this inside of me?
I drifted back over my injuries over the years, back through back problems, back through knee problems that required surgery that didn’t quite work back through broken ankles that have still not healed correctly, back through a foot surgery that would not heal and landed me in a wheelchair during school hours because my foot had to remain propped up during the day. I kept scrolling back further, past the second break of my hip, through the tests that yielded scary things like hormone deficiencies, and statements like you wont be able to have children past my elected pin removal surgery for the SCFE to the first major surgery I faced the repair of my hip.
I thought about the pain, which looking back on it, I can’t remember honestly. I know I walked around for weeks, nay months with a limp before I went to the doctor for the issue. I danced in the school musical, more like hobbled, in it. I kept falling down. I kept telling everyone nothing was wrong, I kept telling myself nothing was wrong. When I was told I was going to go to the hospital the next day to get looked at and asked if there was a chance I was going to have to say and Mom told me no, I believed it.
We went to children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, and there I stayed, on “bed rest” in traction, with tears in my eyes being told I was to have emergency surgery by the doctors as soon as they had an OR open the next day. I felt betrayed beyond imagine. This is one of the few things I remember from my childhood. I remember being lied to. I have held onto this for many years. A few months ago my mom and I had a long heart to heart on a Sunday morning over virtual cup of coffee. (we have a weekly Sunday phone call, even if it is just to say I am fine) I finally felt a little bit of closure on this hurt.
My mom admitted to me that she did not feel that I at my young age, (of about 11) could handle being told I was going to need surgery. she didn’t think I was strong enough to handle it. While I am unsure if I would have been able to handle it at the time, I think I would have liked to have had the chance. I have spent most of my life trying to face things head on, and I think it is perhaps part of why I am so blunt about so many things.
I don’t know why I was thinking about it so much this morning on my drive, maybe it is because I worry that I am not strong enough to handle the obstacles placed in front of me at times. Maybe it is because I am a bit homesick. Maybe it is just because I am trying to be more aware and present in the moments that are occurring in my life, but I realised today that I am strong. I can face any obstacle that I come up against and I will figure out how to deal with it.
Life is full of struggles, choices, chances for redemption, chances for each of us to prove what we are made of and I certainly hope that as I keep on the path that I am on, to live the life I want, I cn keep proving my strength, to myself and to others. My mom now sees that the decision to withhold the possibility of surgery from me made things about 100 times worse for me, but we can’t go back. I realise that she was doing what she thought was best. We all make the choice in the moment that we think is the best one, and we cannot know the consequences from those choices.
The road not traveled may seem better at times, but it won’t lead you to who you are. ❤