i’ve learned a lot about life from mugs and magnets.
i’ve always loved quotes. i kept a “commonplace book” all through middle school and high school, and i anxiously awaited my senior year because at my high school, each senior got their own page in the yearbook to display their senior portrait, photos, and quotes. looking at it 20 years later, there’s really only one quote that doesn’t still speak to me.
i look for insight into the human condition, mine specifically, in racks of greeting cards.
when i think of my recovery, two quotes really stand out as transformational.
people frequently ask me if what i’ve been through in the last 2 years has made me religious. i certainly am much more willing to see connections between things (i end up with a brain tumor, my only uncle is a neurosurgeon, he gets me in with the best guy for my surgery, he practices in phoenix, my only cousin lives in phoenix…) but i still don’t see them as being preordained or part of some larger plan or anything like that. my friend jesse calls it “synchronicity” and i like that.
so what’s the quote?
i really do see examples of this all around me. on a smaller scale, i feel that the city i live in, corvallis, is friendly and on my side. when things didn’t seem to be going my way, the message conveyed by this notebook helped me think positively.
the other quote was on a card.
wow. i look at this and i get teary. this card has made a huge difference in my recovery. ok, not the card but the sentiment expressed on it. time and time again i would say this quote when things were absolutely not ok. when i learned how to walk with a walker, and struggled with being in my late 30s and feeling like i was elderly, i reminded myself that i wasn’t at the end yet. when i first started forcing myself to walk up and down my very busy street, i was embarrassed thinking about what people were thinking about me when they drove past and saw me. i was comforted by the knowledge that it wasn’t ok and it wasn’t the end.
on the eve of my 2-year scanniversary (2 years ago tomorrow was the day i had my mri and got my diagnosis), i’m feeling like the “recovery” part of my recovery is really behind me and because of the work i did and the help i got i’m able to just be alive and live my life. i still remind myself of this quote and that i’m not to the end yet. things are certainly feeling ok, and if this is the end, i’m fine and able to live a good life just like i’m doing. but i keep improving, and fine-tuning things. wonky left hand, driving, running, swimming – these are just some places with room for improvement. but if i’m never able to swim again, everything is ok. swimming is a bonus. i’m just fine being unable to swim – i avoid pools and always wear a lifejacket on my many boating expeditions.
browse some card racks. look for one that really speaks to you. get it for yourself or mail it to a friend. if you mail it to me, i promise to write you back. and who knows? you just might transform my recovery.