Living the Dream
Have you ever thought, why is that person so happy? How do they do it? What’s the deal? More times than not, it has to do with connecting their passion with their occupation. Within the past few years, I’ve been doing just that. Living MY dream. What’s my passion? What’s my job? As many readers know, I sustained a TBI 24 years ago, and even now am working on my recovery. Just ’cause no one else sees that I (or you) may still have residual issues or problems, we still do. So we continue to work to improve. Or not.
Those who choose not to are like the person who had hip surgery, but refuses to do the therapy. I know. I had two hip surgeries and although it was difficult, I did the therapeutic exercises. (Thanks, Sheila, Matt and Bren! You guys know who you are.) Although my hips are 200% better than they were two and a half years ago, there I still can tell that I wasn’t born with them. Nothing is the way it was 20 years ago. Yep, I turned 40 this past year. And although I feel a helluva lot better than I did even 5 years ago, my body makes sure I remember I’m 40. I’m not as strong as I used to be, I’m fatter, I’m grayer, my eyes are worse, and my joints hurt before it rains.
Where are you going with this, Mark? My point is to say that just like your body reminds us of all the twisted ankles, jammed fingers, broken bones and joint replacements, your injured brain reminds us that something has changed. My son was complaining about jamming a finger in a soccer game, and I told him that I jammed one when I was playing catch with a football, and it has never been the same. I don’t think about it most of the time, but there are times when I do know it feels different than it used to. Some things are never going to be the same, no matter how much surgery, therapy or wishing we do. That’s the way our brains are. No, we don’t think about them constantly, or about what we can or cannot do anymore, but there are times when it is very real. I was a whiz at math before my TBI, but now I’m better with words than I ever was before. Yeah things change. I may never be able to compute in my head like I used to, but I make the best of it, and just like my artificial hips prevent me from running an marathon, my injured brain prevents me from doing things which require a great deal of math in my head.
What does this have to do with living the dream? Well, I’ve kinda rambled, but I’m getting to my original point. Since I’ve come to understand that God knows more about His plan for me and my life, I mean really know, I’m more content with where I am in life. Part of my dream since the mid to late ’90s has been to write a book. Another dream of mine has been to provide the survivors and their families the knowledge that there is hope after a TBI–I’m proof! I also want to help educate people about brain injury and what they can do to, with and for TBI survivors. With this blog, I’m achieving my second goal–without a doubt. And as far as writing a book, well my blog is helping me get my thoughts down on paper, or the computer, and it’s helping me to educate myself about the amazing brain! I usually do much of my writing at a local Starbucks. And I thought how lucky I am to be able to have a job where I can go drink amazing coffee and eat good food. So when people ask me how I’m doing, I say, unabashedly and without hesitation, “Living the dream.”
Sure, I’m not making six figures, but I’m able to spend time with my wife and son. I don’t have to wear a suit and tie to work, but I don’t have to wear a suit and tie to work! In the same way I have to favor my right ankle that I sprained, I have to do things a little differently from how I would have done them if I didn’t have a TBI.
I’m truly living the dream: being a stay at home dad, writing, and drinking great coffee! Daily, I have to remember to turn my will and my life over to God, who certainly knows better than I what I need.
Keep getting better, and I’ll talk to you soon.