Thanks to a weekend ski trip to Crested Butte and catching a weird edge in Paradise Bowl, my ACL and meniscus are torn, along with some sprains on about every other ligament in my right knee. And, thanks to that, I have been taking it a lot easier these days. It’s weird for me. I like being active (I was skiing double black diamonds a couple hours before the ACL went kapooey… on a blue…), I like going and doing, hanging out, being on bikes and on location at photo shoots, and I love my independence. I love my independence so much that I don’t even own plants. I mean, how could I just up and spontaneously leave town if I had green things to water?!
So, life has changed. In a matter of seconds, it’s changed for good. Well, at least for a while. Although apparently my uninjured leg will always be bigger than my injured one, so that’s a pretty permanent change. I haven’t driven a car since February 14th or so. I haven’t walked without a crutch since February 15th. I haven’t cooked anything that wasn’t eggs or frozen meal status since sometime before February 13th. But I have been living more simply and with a schedule that allows for lots of laying down and elevating my leg. I have also seen kindness and love poured out in bucketfuls from the fantastic people in my life. I had no idea people were so, so nice!!! In the week following my injury, I probably cried at least once a day about the amount of kindness I was receiving from people, some of whom I didn’t even know that well. Some friendships that have been dormant for a while or friends whom I love but just hadn’t had much crossover with in everyday life have sprung to the surface and been so dear during this time. Although it’s a time of physical brokenness, there are lots of things both emotional and spiritual that feel very fresh and alive and active.
Like this photo, for instance. First of all, the flowers are from my lovely friend Stacey, who dropped them by last weekend along with some Thin Mints (knows me too well) and my friend Anna, who was in town all the way from Atlanta. If this injury had never occurred, Stacey most likely wouldn’t have showed up on my doorstep with flowers. I also wouldn’t have had (read: taken) all the time to sit and stare at them and think about life. But I’m glad I did have the time, because the other night I looked at them and thought, “Those flowers are like our lives. There are some things dying off that need to be dying off, there are some things in bloom that are at their prime, and there are some things that have yet to bloom but are waiting for just the right time and/or circumstances.”
And that’s exactly what’s happening with me. My right knee is dying off, sure, on a physical level. But so are a lot of my fears. This injury has brought a lot of my greatest fears to the forefront of my life– losing money I’ve saved to buy a house (because I have no health insurance), getting surgery, having an IV (!), and having my mom have to help me go to the bathroom again! Facing these obstacles is allowing some fear in me to die off. As for what’s in bloom, the first thing that comes to mind are my relationships. I am BLOWN AWAY by people’s expressions of love and kindness. I feel so much faith in humanity right now that not even people’s ignorant YouTube comments can bring me down! Also, my faith feels in full bloom. I feel and experience a Perfect Father looking out for me, and it’s on a daily basis. As for the parts that haven’t bloomed as of yet, well who knows? My friend Donavan told me a few days after the ski trip, “Your creativity is about to burst!” And I wonder about that… I feel like I’m starting to see things differently, but who knows where that will end up? Maybe I’ll do a solo exhibit of photos I took in a wheelchair :) At any rate, these flowers were a good evaluating point for me, so I wanted to pass that along to the world. What in your life is dying off? What is in full bloom? What has the potential to come forth in the near or distant future?
And if you’re stuck sitting still a lot these days like me, let’s not wish away the downtime, shall we?