At Ease

My blog posting habits are (noticeably) pretty random. I don’t have any kind of schedule or “I must post every other week or once a month” kind of goal. Maybe it would be a good idea, but meh….

I write when inspiration strikes. I write when I have an experience that surprises, shocks, and/or confuses me. I write after I wake up at 2 in the morning with a “Oh goodness, I should spend some time thinking about that….” topic that popped into my mind. After all, I write because I enjoy it, not because I have to.

Now I say all of that, but I guess there is an exception. I have posted a blog on May 25th for every May 25th this blog has existed and I find it doubtful that will change anytime in the near future. I’m assuming you’ve connected the dots as to why that would be, but if not, May 25 is the anniversary of my spinal cord injury.

Some people make a pretty big deal out of that one day each year and I’m not saying that’s wrong, I’m just stating that as a fact. Some even have a special name for it like “My Life Celebration Day” or something similar. I mean, we’re all unique individuals and I certainly don’t think there is a right or wrong way to approach that one day out of the year where your injury will likely take a bit more of a front seat than it usually does.

Certainly some of the differences in the “approach” of such an anniversary are due to differences in personality. But now, coming from someone who is celebrating 4 years post-injury, I think a good amount of the difference in approach has to do with where you as an individual, where you as a member of a family, where you as an employee, and even where you as a friend “are.”

You know, I spent some time going back to read all of my past “May 25th” posts (if you’re curious, here are the links — 1: Press Pause 2: Uno. Dos. 3: At Least). It was an interesting thing to do, to almost “re-experience” some of those emotions and the places I’ve been on May 25th’s since passed. I will admit, the post from my one year anniversary struck a chord and imagining myself back at the moment… it was a bit of a melancholy reflection where I really just wanted to give my younger self a hug. As I progressed through those posts, there’s a noticeable change. Was it a confidence? A maturity? A better understanding? Maybe a more realistic and practical acceptance? I have no idea — but it’s definitely there.

lateSo I sit here today, looking around at where I am in all those previously mentioned categories — family, friends, work, life. I have no special name for today. I have no special plans or celebrations (besides getting a delicious latte and likely some sort of delicious carb to devour) for this “Year Number Four” anniversary. And you know, I am indescribably content.

At four years out, while I assuredly am by no means “a pro” at wheeling life, I’ve transitioned, matured, and grown through stages of life with an injury that I didn’t know even existed (yea, I realize that probably means there are still many more to go through…). I’ve reached a level of “seated normalcy” that the thought of being my full height in public and not receiving those fairly frequent “curiosity stares” would, in all likelihood, be unnerving.

I’ve come a long way and a lot of amazing things have happened in my life post injury, but then again, I wouldn’t want to minimize the trials and challenges that still and will probably always exist. I know they say “time heals all wounds,” but whoever “they” was never had a spinal cord injury. Sure, the acute pain of the injury is gone, some of the memories have faded — but my reality will always be brushed with occasional thoughts of “seriously, why?” and “what if?”

Yet, I just said I was indescribably content.

I think we all have our demons; those things that keep us up at night or turn a good day into a bad one. But I also think those demons are a pretty lame excuse to not celebrate the countless blessings and seemingly never-ending merits of day to day life. Sure, maybe sometimes those merits seem more elusive than never-ending, but like anything, I hold that that is simply a matter of perspective. And you know, every so often, we all need a good shift of perspective.

Four years post-injury I’ve reached a place I dreamed of despite sometimes doubting the possibility of achieving the rather lofty goal of an independent life, med school, and more. I have an amazing family that has supported me every step of the way and an even more amazing God who has certainly never left me to “fend for myself.”

I’m thrilled to be where I am – living in the city, learning new things, and facing a new set of obstacles.
I’m loving the innumerable opportunities that continue to present themselves as I roll through life.
I’m fulfilled each day by the diverse group of people I have the chance to interact with and learn from.
I’m living life with a spinal cord injury and have been for four years.

I am content.

6 thoughts on “At Ease

  1. Janice Ingalls says:

    Amazing! You are an amazing woman. Your injury has not brought you down, but made you realize you are still YOU, an amazing, young, smart woman, who is reaching her goals.

    God bless you, Sam, and I loved that you thanked God and family. Without them, we all are nothing.


  2. Amy says:

    I was so happy to see another post from you, I always look forward to reading your inspirational messages. You have such an incredible outlook on life, thank you for sharing it with all of us. So glad you’re enjoying your new adventures!

  3. Jayne Zuleger says:

    Good to hear from you again Samantha. I was talking about you during science with a 3rd grade class I was subbing in. We were talking about bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. We were also talking about the spine and joints, When someone mentioned a person that talked to their 4H club that was paralyzed after a tree fell on her. We then realized we were talking about YOU!. Small world and you have made a big difference in lots of people’s lives by being you and having such a wonderful attitude and caring spirit. Happy Memorial Day.

  4. Terri Nida says:

    I am just like you – I write when something happens that takes me to another level of emotions. Frankly, it’s usually when I’m going through something very difficult for feeling depressed. Writing is cathartic and helps me find my way from the dark into the light. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

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