Monday, December 29, 2014

Not Crying Over Spilled Ice Water

This is your challenge, my mom always used to say. Every now and again, when my legs collapse from under me or I find myself reaching down to rub the stiffness from my knees, her words echo in my head. And sometimes they help. But sometimes? Sometimes I wonder why my challenge seems so damn difficult when there are others whose challenges seem so simple in comparison. 

And I know – I know that not everything is as it appears on the surface, that maybe their perfect lives and first world problems are complicated in ways that I could never understand. But sometimes, sometimes it still hurts. Like on December 6th, the seventh anniversary of one of the most difficult days of my life, when the girl in front of me at the water dispenser stuck out her elbow and backed up, sending me crashing to the floor. I dropped my cup full of ice water and I could feel my face burning as people formed a circle, staring. One of the dining hall staff members handed me another cup of water, and I forced a smile, but somehow this falling thing never gets any easier. 

She barely even pushed you, I scolded myself as I walked over to the table where my friends were sitting.

And then it hit me. I was still walking. When I stood up, my leg didn't give out on me like it did seven years ago on this day. I didn't have to leave in a wheelchair or be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, didn't have to stare at the ceiling of the emergency room as a flood of doctors tried to stop my hand from spurting blood after a botched IV, didn't have to undergo emergency surgery or years of rehabilitation and tears and self-doubt.  
No. Not this time. This time, I was lucky. 

I set down my cup of water and laughed at a joke that I didn't even hear because I was too busy counting my blessings, overcome with gratitude that I had fallen yet again, just as I had fallen seven years before, but this time...this time, it was different. 

This is my challenge. To be sure, it's not always easy. Sometimes it knocks me down. But one thing's for sure: it has made me grateful for the times when I can get up again, grateful for those moments in life when falling isn't so complicated, when it isn't so costly, when I only spill a cup of ice water and some dignity. 

I took a bit of an unintended hiatus!! I had a dream last night that I was updating my blog and that's when I realized that I've really been slacking lately in this department. I definitely plan on updating more often, and thank you, thank you, thank you if you've still come back to read my blog after I went more than a MONTH without posting anything! It was a tough semester, but the past couple of weeks have been amazing... filled with family, friends, cookie swaps, gingerbread-decorating contests, Ben & Jerry's ice cream (if you know me, you know that's my weakness!!!), fuzzy socks (another one of my weaknesses), wonderfully unproductive pastimes like watching cat videos on YouTube in my pajamas, audiobooks (my dad's weakness...and luckily for my brothers and me, the audiobook he chose this time wasn't about the financial and political state of Iceland.....), and fluffy little faces like this one asking for late-night snuggles:
xoxoxo Thanks for reading, as always.