The doctors said it would take 400 days to know if the surgeries worked. If my leg would work again. If I would walk. If I would ever feel anything. If I would be able to move my ankle and toes.
Well time is up. Its been 400 days. It seems like it should be a huge milestone, but I’m sitting in a coffee shop and life is going on around me as normal. I don’t feel different today than I did yesterday. I don’t know what I expected of my 400 days. I think I expected that it would arrive and I would be back to normal. But that isn’t the case. I’m not normal. I don’t think my leg feels more than it did yesterday. I can feel things all the way down to my toes: if I rub it really hard or spray water from the shower on it. But it is by no means normal. I can go some days without wearing my brace, which is awesome, but it gives me a more defined limp and I walk much slower. My ankle is getting stronger, but my calf is still non-existent. I don’t think it will ever come back to what it was before. I still have a lot of pain there.
Today should be the ending of my book. TODAY IS THE END! I mean it’s not really the end of anything. It’s just the end of my 400 days. But that’s what I wanted my book to be about. This blog post should be a summary. It is my final chapter. The conclusion of my book. What do I want my conclusion to be. What is the takeaway? What have I learned in these 400 days? I don’t know. I just don’t. I don’t know how to put it into words. But I need to. That’s the point right? The point of writing a book. Is that I can put into words what I am learning. What I have learned.
I have learned that I am still telling an old story about who I am. After reading Shauna’s blog: Getting Out of a Life Rut, I realized I read the whole thing completely agreeing. Yes, that’s who I am. The chubby, funny girl. The sidekick. I am telling an old story about myself. That’s not who I want to be anymore. In The Holiday, Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, comes to the same realization when talking to her neighbor, Arthur.
Arthur: Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life! Arthur, I’ve been going to a therapist for three years, and she’s never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.
This bomb should change my life. I should be changed. I should stop telling that old story. It isn’t who I am anymore. I think that’s a lot of what these 400 days were about. I should have used them more wisely. I should have figured this out before day 400. Have I essentially wasted 400 days of my life? Or have all these days been the culmination of this learning curve?
I need to start living the life I want to have. I can’t keep moping around waiting for something to happen to me. I need to stop acting like the best friend and start being a leading lady.
Allison Vesterfelt wrote a great blog post called Don’t Wait to be Invited to Your Life. She tells a story about how as a child she was always left out and was always waiting to be invited to things, while other children always seemed to be invited and included. But she realized it was because they were constantly putting themselves out there.
“They didn’t need someone to tell them they were good at wall ball, or that they were a great writer, or that they deserved a happy marriage. They already believed those things were true. And because they believed that, they put themselves in the game. They played with a sort of abandon. They got better and better.
I don’t need an invitation. Neither do you. What we need is a little more moxie, a little more guts. We we need is a willingness to know what we want. What we need is to practice, practice, practice—and to make a little room for ourselves on the court. “
I can’t keep waiting to be invited. I can’t keep waiting for something to HAPPEN in my life. I need to start living the life I want and I need to start being the person I want to be. I need to stop telling that old story about myself. I’ve had 400 days. As this concluding chapter closes, how am I going to change my story for the next 400?
How will you?