It seems I might have given off the wrong impression when I wrote about my move and being intimidated. Several people kindly and lovingly responded offering help, making sure I was ok, and so on. The fact is, I am not at all down, depressed or upset about it. Quite the opposite. I LOVE being in my own place. I wrote that because it strikes me odd that while I love it, I am strangely intimidated by it.
In the past couple of years, many things have intimidated me. Learning to walk again was a big one. I can’t explain that one and hope nobody reading this ever understands what it is like to have to relearn something you have done all your life and yet never given a single thought to. Learning to ride a bike was another. As was getting behind the wheel of a car and getting my license back. That was terrifying. Walking was one thing. In a car, I could kill someone. Hiking on Table Mountain in South Africa and then through Bryce, the Grand Canyon and Zion were all super scary for me. Climbing up the rocks in Valley of Fire with the fear I would not be able to get down was just something I had to do. I had to know.
Roller-skating was also very intimidating. I have been roller-skating longer than I can remember, but it was wiped away with the walking and the balance. Last July, David took me to a roller rink. We got there early and ended up sitting outside talking for about an hour. We were chatting about this and that, but inside I was trying to get up the nerve to put on a pair of skates. didn’t know if I would stand up in them, I just wanted to try them on. I got them on my feet and then immediately I was torn equally between wanting to take them off and run – well, walk fast as I hadn’t yet learned to run – out of the rink and wanting to make it around the rink just one time. I ended up spending most of the night on skates and I fell just once in quite a spectacular, arms flying all over the place style.
Not everything has always gone great. On my first boat ride to Bongoyo Island after the stroke, I stepped out of the boat, lost my footing and went under. There was the second or two of panic and embarrassment followed by lots of laughter and a bit of teasing. I have found that once that worst fear happens, I know it is all going to be ok.
So this move is just one more thing in a list of things that I have found overwhelming. What I find so strange with the feelings about the move, is that for so many things, they are just things I did and never thought about. You learn to walk once and that’s it. Something most of us never remember and a process we usually never need to repeat. Moving is something I have done. And done. And done. I am sure I have moved close to a hundred times. I have moved five times just in the last year and a half. Three times in Istanbul, Five in India and so on. If I know how to do anything, it’s move. Yet somehow this move is different.
Maybe it’s because of what this move signifies. It is the end of an era for me. The end of wondering if I was ever going to make it back and have my own life and independence again. Wondering if I would ever feel normal. If I would ever have the courage to live alone again. It means I am, for the most part, finished with my recovery. Yeah, there are little things here and there, but the big pieces are done now. And I’m here, in my own apartment.
Just typing those words makes me want to cry because they make me happy. And because of the stroke, I got to spend time living with Ken and his family and got to have them as a part of my daily life instead of just seeing them on visits here and there. I have known his children Haley and Zach since they were mere bumps in Charise’s belly and I got to experience just what amazing young adults and people they are and are going to be. I got to know my sister again and have discovered that of all the adventures I have had in my life, being an uncle is without a doubt my favorite. My niece is one of the most beautiful people I know both inside and out and my nephews are just magical and inspriring.
So yes, I am intimidated and a little overwhelmed, but at the same time, I am happily swimming in those emotions just knowing that I am here and I made it.