I hate being pitied. I used to see myself as strong and capable, even tomboy-ish, and I took pride in that. I grew up playing baseball with the boys until they all hit puberty, and my parents made me switch to softball. Around the age of thirteen, I started playing the drums and spent my high school years on the drumline in the marching band surrounded by the boys, but I always felt like ‘one of the guys’ and related to them much more easily than I did girls my own age. Teenage girls were so complicated, and I never felt like I fit in with any of them. I tried, but it just never happened for me. Fast forward many years, and I became a paramedic, again, mostly surrounded by men. The uniforms definitely never made me feel girly, and I even freaked one of my old partners out one time when I came to work with my hair down- it had never occurred to me that he’d only seen me wearing ponytails and he looked at me weird all shift because he couldn’t get used to seeing me with my hair down.

Now, after the accident, I feel like a frail old lady, and that’s pretty much how I get treated too. I hate it. I no longer feel strong and capable. I feel rickety and weak. My mind is strong- the strongest it’s ever been for sure, but my body has been through a lot, and I feel it every minute of every day. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, and maybe I am a little, but I am definitely grateful that I’m doing as well as I am- I have come a LONG way! I’m not sure if I will ever get stronger or if this is the best it will get for me (if it is, I’m fine with it), but all of these feelings came up after I binged the podcast called “Scamanda.” If you haven’t listened to it, it’s about a woman that faked cancer for like seven years. She meticulously documented her fake cancer journey and was finally found out and convicted of wire fraud. It’s truly disgusting the lengths she went to because (in my opinion) she was addicted to the pity of others. She was young, vibrant, beautiful, charming- all the things I’m not. She was beloved by everyone, and she used her ‘lovability’ to scam people out of their money. I don’t think it was about the money, though; I think she loved people feeling sorry for her. She loved the pity.

Since my last real update on this blog, I’ve had another major surgery on my knee and found out that my neck has not fused and am looking at another neck surgery in the future. This news was devastating to me… I’m still not really able to talk about it because I can’t put into words how it makes me feel. Apparently, I can’t type the words either, so I’ve mostly been avoiding talking about it altogether. I was given the option to go ahead and do the surgery and get it over with, but I just can’t. I’m not ready. By postponing it like this, I’m taking a major risk in that there’s a chance I will undergo the surgery in an emergent situation in which my hardware has failed due to another trauma or just wear and tear, so definitely not under ideal circumstances. But I have a plan which is: to live my life to the best of my ability while I can. To spend quality time with my family and to enjoy life’s little moments in a way that I may not have before my accident. I want to encourage other people up against insurmountable odds, and I want to continue to build a community on youtube and elsewhere (maybe a book one day?).

My husband and I both appreciate more than we can convey with words just how short and fragile life is, so he retired from the fire department, which leaves him just working one full-time job instead of two, and we are getting our forever camper and spending this next phase of life traveling together and enjoying each other as much as possible. Through speaking out about all that happened, I’ve found a new hobby: video editing! I’m all over the place with my youtube channel, but I really have discovered a love for the editing process. I’m not great at it by any means, but I’ve learned a lot and love being creative with it. I love using the editing process to tell a story how I think it should be told. Here’s my favorite video I’ve done so far- it’s gotten the least amount of views because it’s just a family vacation vlog, but I LOVED putting it together. It perfectly documents our family vacation from my perspective and emotions.

I want to leave you with some random bits of advice from what I can only describe as an ‘accidental awakening’:

  • You can’t change anything about the past. Let it go.
  • Do not waste another second of your life worrying about what anyone outside your household/inner circle thinks about you.
  • Be honest. Always. Just tell the truth and communicate like an adult. As long as you are respectful, it is of no concern to you what someone else’s opinion may be.
  • You cannot control others. You can only control yourself, so focus on that.
  • Live. Figure out what makes you happy and focus on making that happen.
  • It’s ok, and even commendable, to admit wrongdoing which goes back to just being honest.
  • Be someone’s cheerleader. Encourage people and lift them up.
  • Forgive someone that wronged you.

Until next time.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.


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