and the one I found
No, this is not a love story, a heartbreaking expression of regret over any one relationship that has reached an unfortunate end. Or an attempt to spill my heart out over a past lover I am missing because of the gloomy weather.
No, this is not one of those stories. However, while safe from tiring you with clichés of love lost and eternal sorrow, I still run the risk of sounding vain and like a moaning bastard.
Oh well. Here goes nothing.
The one I miss is an undefined future me. The potential that lay ahead of me in my life at the age of 28. Almost 13 years ago. When multiple sclerosis came knocking on my door, and in the more than a decade since has tumbled every plan I have had and my entire world for that matter. Nothing has been the same since. I can barely walk 50 meters unassisted and 200 meters assisted – anything further away requires a wheelchair. So no “long walks on the beach” for me. Or exploring a new city on foot. And don’t get me started on the need for proximity to toilets. Or a myriad of other limitations, such as light and noise sensitivity, or even cognitive difficulties and memory loss. I really do miss the me that I used to be, and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder about who I had the potential to be.
Then again, I found a new me. A more understanding me, a more zen me, as more patient me, and definitely a more pragmatic me. A more rational and reserved me. A me that learned how to adapt to sudden changes in life and their surroundings. One that advocates for those with limited abilities, one that tries to explain to others (with some success I hope) that what they believe the world should be like is really just their view at this specific time and place, does not fit every case, and they are bound to change opinion as time passes. One with a different perspective on life and the world.
Isn’t this change and ability – because everyone has the capacity – to adapt to it what defines each and every one of us as individuals?
So, yes, the one I used to be has gotten away. But in the process I have found the one that I am today. And dare I say I am very happy for this new me, I am very satisfied and very proud of who I have become. I may not always be successful in nurturing this new me, I sometimes need the help of my friends, but I sure am gonna try and keep me around!
Images from pexels.com
When living with a chronic and debilitating disease there are things you or even your doctors cannot change, things that you really have to accept in order to adjust and move forward with creating a productive life. Then there are things that require a bit of adjustment, things that would facilitate both you and a large part of the population that we do not think need any assistance. These things require a society that works for the good of the whole, not just a collection of people that happen to be living close to one another in villages, towns, or cities. And they could change with a bit of understanding and action on everyone’s part.
That was the word I was anxiously looking for the other day during a discussion with some friends. Simple word, common I dare say. And it came to me a good six or seven hours later. Much help it would be at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s not like I could call anyone – or even text them for that matter – and say “you know that word I was stuck on earlier tonight? Well, it’s…” Besides, I even ran the risk of forgetting what I called for while I was calling. That would be embarrassing, not to mention waking someone up in the early hours of the morning on a school night would be extremely rude.
I’ve spent the past few months, since my contract in the financial sector expired and I decided to reposition my career path but I was unable to do so because my health had been deteriorating, thinking about this phrase. Considering that I am unable to do a lot of things I used to, and what that meant for me personally. After all, everyone wants to be productive members of society, we all want to contribute, to make a difference.
The feelings of ineptitude that bubbled up made me feel helpless. So, what did I do? At first I overanalyzed it. And then I felt despair. That feeling that you are worthless, unworthy, even a poser. But then, as I often do, I rationalized the situation. And watched a lot of Netflix in the process, but that is another issue that has a lot to do with my tendency to procrastinate.
No, this is not a Monty Python inspired post. Although I do love them. And the post does include reference to silly walks. But no parrots, dead or otherwise. I promise. This is an update of sorts. MS related. On the changes in my life over the past year, slow changes at first and drastic changes over the past two months or so.
For better or for worse, social media has become and integral part of our lives. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter control our lives (whether you have signed up to them or not, but that’s another discussion). Dictating what news we get, what opinions we hear, what we believe, and, to an extent, determining our actions. Because – and let’s be serious here, there aren’t that many exceptions to this rule – should someone start a challenge of some sorts on these social networks nowadays, and that challenge goes viral, you’d be a social pariah not to participate. And age or education level have nothing to do with whether you participate or not.
We live in the age of social media. Devouring (and more often than not parroting) an avalanche of information, both good and bad. We have an opinion on everything. We consume reality programming and situational content with more ease than we usually drink water. And we seem to believe anything that pops up on our screens, without ever questioning the credibility of the source, the logic behind what is dished out to us. We have become mindless drones.