For a while I felt like a failure. I kept fighting with my head instead of resting and allowing my body to recover. Many days spent feeling sorry for myself and pretty down in the dumps.
But over time I made peace with my physical condition and continue to do so everyday. The silver lining: I have a new appreciation for the suffering experienced by those living with chronic pain as well as the frustrations that come with navigating our complex healthcare system when you are not well.
Plus I've learned about myself. For years I have been trying to make myself into someone else only to discover time and time again that it can't be done.
And if that's true for me, could it be true for others? Can we really become someone other than who we are destined to be?
For example, my child. Isn't she just who she is? If I'm struggling to figure out life isn't she doing the same thing? And she's doing it all for the first time while I've had 43 years to figure it out. Shouldn't I have more patience with her as she finds her way?
And if I'm doing the best I can given my own limitations, isn't eveyone else basically doing the best they can do given where they are in life?
That's not to say that I should just accept my own shortcomings and not work towards self-fulfillment and being a better human being. It's that maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself when I stumble. And maybe I shouldn't be so hard on others when they stumble either. Because everyone is basically doing the best they can with what they've got in that moment.
Well, at least this makes me feel a bit better about the world.
And then last night I came across this video presentation by an author who's visiting Lucy's school today and tomorrow. And he said a lot of the things that I've been thinking about. The video is an hour long and at times silly but eventually he gets to the point.
Of course, he's a brilliant writer. And rather eccentric. Regardless, a lot of his talk resonated with me.
Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend. I expressed that perhaps I was ready to go back to doing personal training. She paused, looked me in the eye and calmly said "Is that what you really want to do? You need to give yourself time to heal. Really heal before you jump back in. Take this time to figure out what interests you."
Years ago I was presented with the opportunity to build a midwifery practice at a local hospital. The thought of it gave me panic because though I felt it was what I SHOULD be doing, it was not what I wanted to do. "What do you want to do here?" They asked. "I want to teach," I eventually responded.
Not high school or middle school or grade school. But adults. And sometimes kids. And not in a traditional classroom setting. I wanted to share the knowledge I had with others. I also wanted to explore new skills and then teach what I learned others.
Teach. And mentor. And guide.
Because when I teach, it is challenging. It is rewarding when it "clicks" for a student. Because I love to write lesson plans and see them in action. Because I love to think and be excited about something and I want others to be excited too.
Which is why I loved nursing. And personal training. And giving sewing classes.
And I enjoy people. Hearing their stories. Learning from them.
So what now.
Rest. Rest. Rest.
Teach. Teach. Teach.
Because isn't that what it's all about? Learning and teaching. Sharing our wisdom. Gaining wisdom.
Well, for me that's what it's all about. Because it's what excites me and gives me purpose. It's what gets me up in the morning. And keeps me up late at night.
Thinking about thinking. And learning. And teaching.
It's just my thing. Who I am. And you know what, that's pretty awesome.