Cheers to the Shit!
Ok Facebook, I'm about to get all earnest and real and I've never done that over FB so bare with me... Or scroll by. It's hard to know what's self-indulgent with social-media these days and obviously there are more important things happening in the world right now than my little life revelations... But here's what I've been thinking about.
So today is an important anniversary to me, and one I'd like to celebrate by acknowledging for the first time. Lots of you know, on Christmas Day 22 years ago, I was in a crazy freak skiing accident with major internal injuries that I really shouldn't have survived (my survival story is just as freak). The least worrisome part of it all was that I broke my femur in 3 places, and March 18th (3 months post-accident) was the day marked on the calendar where, if everything went as planned, my pins and external fixator were supposed to come out.
It's a hyperbolic understatement to say it had been a shitty 3-months, and I was still at the beginning of what would be a veryyy long recovery process, but the 18th was something major to look forward to because it meant I could soon ditch the wheelchair and maybe start feeling like myself again. I was counting down the days.
And then it arrived and my X-rays looked great! The doctor removed the pins and handed me the fixator, and I was so fucking happy.
But we got home, and I took my first weight-bearing step on my newly healed leg, and it immediately snapped in all three places again. It was such an unfamiliar sensation it's hard to describe, but I will never forget that feeling. I knew immediately that it was broken, and the devastation in that moment and my lack of control over any of it was unreal. I was totally defeated. Apparently, the original X-rays had been misleading. I was so sick that the bone that had regenerated was "soft as silly putty" (as the doc put it)-- and I was back at square one.
I spent the next 9 months with the pins and fixator (and wheelchair), and then another couple years in PT after that, getting my knee to bend again.
Now, I'm terrible at any and all sports, and I'll always blame my accident for that. But this year, as I thought back on this moment, as I do every March 18th, I had a very different series of thoughts. It occurred to me that it was because I spent that year with the pins and fixator (during a minor growth spurt) that gave me what's since been called my "super confident gay swagger," and it's also the time I fell in love with storytelling and movies. Most importantly, it's the period in my life where the kernel of this version of me was born. That moment/period changed my perception of the world and has since become a part of my fiber and make-up-- and today I'm super grateful for it.
So cheers to one of the very worst moments of my whole entire life 22 years ago. And to low points, and devastation, and survival and persistence. Because those are the moments that define us and magnify our joys and our triumphs. Cheers to the shit. Cause sometimes it deserves to be celebrated too.
And cheers to my first and last ever sappy FB post!